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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
James Morris: World Food Programme
Select a link below to watch the Talking Point debate with James Morris, executive director of the World Food Programme.

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The United Nations food summit in Rome has ended with a renewed pledge to end world hunger, but without a decision on how to achieve it.

The summit took place against the background of a worsening food crisis in southern Africa, with countries like North Korea and Afghanistan facing similar crises.

Critics say not enough cooperative effort is being made to improve the situation. Only two leaders from Western nations - Spain and Italy - attended this week's meeting.

The secretary-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) condemned the West for ignoring the plight of the poor.

But there has also been criticism of Zimbabwe for rejecting 10,000 tons of corn that was not certified as free from genetic modifications, despite a quarter of the population suffering from food shortages.

Do you think we are doing enough to help fight world famine? Are government policy failures to blame? Should foreign aid donations be increased? And should starving nations accept GM crops?

We discussed world hunger on our global interactive phone-in programme broadcast online, on the BBC World Service and on Digital television in the UK. We were joined by James Morris, executive director of the World Food Programme.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

Corrupt African regimes which are the direct cause of starvation can be changed if we in the West stop taking the best, brightest and richest people as refugees and skilled workers. These are the type of people best suited to topple corrupt regimes through democratic means or revolution.
J.Crewe, UK

All the evidence now indicates that future population growth is considerably overestimated and that crop yields continue to rise. In fifty years time mass hunger will be a memory. This will have been achieved quietly and with dignity by scientists and technologists working in free and open democracies without diversion by the incompetence of governments and the mass hysteria of political debate.
Martin Ternouth, Dorchester, UK

Most world hunger is caused by civil wars, despot governments and corrupt politicians. We already produce enough food worldwide to feed everyone. What we need to do is end all these causes with whatever means necessary and ignore the hypocritical liberals who condemn GM crops and protest about government intervention into foreign affairs. What is more important, national pride or saving millions of lives? Would your answer be the same if you were the one that was starving?
PhilT, Cornishman in Oman

In the next 12 months, 4 million children will die from starvation, malnourishment and disease. That's 1 every 8 minutes - the time it takes you to read this page. We know corrupt regimes have taken some of this money for themselves. Sort out the starving people first - send them products rather than money if necessary - then go after the people who have caused this. Because while we're all pontificating about the small print, people are dying.
Deb, Manchester, England

Of course it can! Stop trashing the environment, stop with the ignorant GM hysteria, stop trashing food stocks, improve the process of distribution.
Shane, UK

Hunger is rarely caused by a lack of food; the world already produces an excess to the extent that governments in the West have to artificially support the market price and encourage non-production. Rather, it is a lack of wealth and/or political freedom that prevents the purchase of food, the instability of corrupt, dictatorial regimes, war, civil or otherwise, and the devastating economic effects produced by the West dumping foodstuffs at below market prices on the developed world whilst discouraging imports through tariffs.
Mark, London, UK

Considering that 90% of all the grain in the western world goes to feeding cattle and other livestock, its no wonder that world hunger is in the state it is. It will only get worse as Third World nations adopt the resource-wasting western diet and habit for meat.
Tony Martin, Berkeley, USA

America the great bread basket, is also the waste basket of the world

Khalid Rahim, Toronto Canada
America the great bread basket, is also the waste basket of the world. What they acquire at throwaway prices from developing nations, to feed their people and sell back to the poor hungry nations at exorbitant prices only to help pay for the CEO's luxury. On the other side they create inept leaders who corrupt the administration of the country, leading to hunger and poverty.
Khalid Rahim, Toronto Canada

Please listen to a Uganda guide in the Murchison National Park. "If the West gives money it must police it, if not it is stolen and people like me don't receive it." At the time a minister had misappropriated thousands of dollars intended to support wildlife projects. The guide had not been paid for weeks. To tackle global hunger requires all of us to put pressure on governments of the West to stop ignoring these issues. Hunger is a complex problem only well thought out plans that consider local issues can stand a chance to enable people to feed themselves.
Fiona, Derbyshire UK

Ever since I was a child I have sent money to end African hunger. There was Live Aid, Band Aid, Comic Relief, Save the Children, etc. When I asked my elders why the hungry were still hungry, they told me that greedy warlords kept the food from the people for political reasons. That's what I thought the US was trying to solve in Somalia - stop the warlords and the people will get the help we are willing to give them. However, that effort ended in disaster. Now I'm an adult with a nice income and I'm still willing to help Africans and any other starving people on earth. If someone would just tell me how to use that money in a way that will actually benefit needy people, I will donate gladly.
Chris, New York, USA

As I have recently returned from Malawi, Kasuugu, to be precise completing voluntary work, I saw firsthand a voluntary-run feeding programme. The World Food Programme will not be enough - they will need help from all sides. Education is the key to the problem - teach the members of the countries affected how to grow crops and more importantly how to manage the crop after you have harvested it. Firstly, you have to overcome corruption of the respective governments and the World Bank's thinking of having their debits returned from the African countries. I also strongly agree with Jason from the UK
Daniel, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK

We must do all we can to prevent as many deaths through hunger as possible

Kaye Molloy, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Why isn't there more media coverage of the plight of the millions of African people who are starving or will starve if they don't receive help soon? It only gets an occasional mention on the news. There are many people who would help if they knew about it. Of course the many factors that have contributed to the situation have to be addressed so that there will be a better future for these people. In the meantime we must do all we can to prevent as many deaths through hunger as possible. But if they are out of sight they are also out of mind.
Kaye Molloy, Amsterdam, Netherlands

In order to eliminate hunger, I believe the governments of the world, as well as the UN, must make a concerted, united effort to overcome the great social inequalities created by capitalism, and minimize their impact.
Peter Bolton, UK/US

The deciding factor for famine has always been the amount of food available over the number of mouths it has to fill. China took the draconian measure of limiting each woman to having one child only and forbidding marriage until the age of 25. However, even that does not stop the pregnancies as one newspaper article exposed the infanticide of female babies in favour of male babies and the population is still three or four times too big to handle. The other factor is corrupt governments who will only distribute wealth amongst the higher echelons and deprive their ethnic minorities of the mere basics such as food.
Hazel, UK

It is very possible to defeat world hunger if we can bring ourselves to do one simple thing: be more charitable. If every person on this planet can put away a little portion of his wealth for the less privileged, world hunger will become something unheard of.
John Barnabas, United Kingdom

Money is not the answer. The only way to solve these problems is to tackle the issue of corruption.
Christelle, London

The problems of drought and famine cannot be solved unless developed countries extend their hands

Saba, Ethiopia
I totally agree with the statement of the secretary-general that the West is ignoring the plight of the poor. The problems of drought and famine cannot be solved unless developed countries extend their hands. Poverty has been ignored too much. The problem of famine has never been addressed properly. The world is engaged more in immediate solutions for every problem. However, we have to understand that poverty is the main cause of most of the problems of the world.
Saba, Ethiopia

In Ethiopia there was a famine when the government said that it owned the land and it was not the people's land. In Zimbabwe the same thing is happening. The EU and the US are a joke - they say that they are going to impose smart sanctions. How smart are these sanctions if you let these people pillage our land?
Jeffrey, Zimbabwe

I wonder if the leaders of famine-struck countries have downsized their military, given up their chauffeur-driven limousines stopped using their private swimming pools or even skipped lunch. I doubt it.
Tom, London, UK

The IMF encourages the growth of cash crops because it is the only way that peasant farmers can break the cycle of subsistence poverty. Famine has rather more to do with the cruelty, incompetence and idiotic social policies of African governments. Just take a look at Zimbabwe. Two years ago it was one of Africa's brightest economic stars, now it is a famine zone. All thanks to Mugabe's murderous and racist policies.
Gordon McStraun, UK

The genetically modified crops that the big companies want to introduce cannot be considered to be safe.

Steve Watt, London
What happened to the green revolution that took place in the seventies that was supposed to end famine around the world? All those wonderful new strains of rice and wheat and maize. The genetically modified crops that the big companies want to introduce cannot be considered to be safe.They will need perhaps 100 years of testing to see how nature responds to them before this is even a possibility. How anyone can one even consider that a couple of years is a realistic trial is beyond me. It is almost as though they don't care as long as they make some money. Now who cares how nature will respond to these genetic mutations? Respond it will - it always does.
Steve Watt, London England

World hunger cannot be defeated as long as rich nations aren't caring. Western governments are too busy bothering themselves with their paranoid security concerns to open their eyes and realize millions of people in the world are starving. Our priorities need to be re-examined.
Keith Cuiper, Denver, USA

I think we should send food, clothes, medical supplies etc and not money. It appears to me that the people running those countries just seem to build up their armies and fill their bank accounts. I agree with the folk who say they should be taught to farm and I think they should plant trees that bear fruit and nuts. I can't understand why the authorities don't open factories. Lets face it, everybody needs furniture and other goods, not just us western folk. All countries need to manufacture goods, then we would have full employment and things would be cheaper. I know the greedy won't like that idea but there are more needy who would.
Patricia, Australia

I am in no way surprised at the failure of the food summit in Italy. Preventing starvation will be a futile exercise until the corrupt and inept leaders of these nations are forced out first.
Craig H, London, UK

Seeing the likes of Robert Mugabe at the summit turns my stomach. The man should be held personally responsbile for the devastation in Zimbabwe and the same goes for every other African leader. They are all totally irresponsible and incompetent with no committment to the people that they govern. As for the poor turnout at the summit, governments around the world cannot take African politicians seriously, they are constantly looking for handouts and show nothing for it. If Mugabe for one re-invested his personal wealth as a sign of committment to the future of Zimbabwe and encouraged others to follow, then maybe they will be taken seriously. Africa is a sad example of the inability of it's indigenous people to prosper and thrive. Some areas were the bread-basket of Africa and look how they have managed to destroy it. It is pitiful and for the Western world to stand by and allow African politicians to remain in power for more than five years at a time is criminal.
June Whiteman, Douglas, Isle of Man

The re-distribution of anything turns us Americans off giving anything to Africa

Brandon Kutka, Chicago
All I can say is the re-distribution of anything turns us Americans off giving anything to Africa. I am sorry to say that the UN has many ideas counter to what most Americans believe in. What I would like to know is how come in Africa they attack, kill and rape the very farmers who provide food for them?
Brandon Kutka, Chicago, USA

Isn't this gathering of world leaders a joke; as with other UN activities, we see world leaders thinking of themselves and being out of touch with the little people?
Gerald Terpstra, Sarasota County, Florida

Why do you allow Mugabe to participate in this farce, when, by stopping the white farmers from effectively planting, he has been an indirect cause of this famine?
anonymous, Germany

It is bad government that causes famine

Leanne, Sydney, Australia
Why isn't famine laid at the feet of the greedy, egotistical power-hungry idiots who run these countries? It's not drought, flood or fire. It is bad government that causes famine.
Leanne, Sydney, Australia

We will not begin to seriously tackle world hunger until the terms of trade with underdeveloped countries are radically altered to allow them access to our markets. Until the West starts to view investment in the Third World as a partnership, not as a means of financial exploitation, the Third World will continue to suffer while we benefit from the hardship of their lives in the form of cheap imports.
Nigel Wade, Ilford, England

World hunger could be defeated if we stopped spending billions of pounds on circuses like the World Cup and on absurdities such as developing countries spending billions on arms for no apparent reason. I, for one, have stopped giving to charities because as long as charities do the work that the governments of developing countries should be doing we will never get rid of the problem.
Andrew Kelly, Lancaster, UK

World hunger can be ended but it's going to have to be done with sound, realistic, stable economic and agricultural policy. Nothing else will do.
Naa-Dei Nikoi, London, UK

I would be more than happy to donate a portion of my small salary, if I was confident that my money would go to the people who need it. I do not however, wish to line the pockets of some greedy politician or finance an oppressive regime.
Dave, Ft. Leonard Wood MO. USA

Western efforts to shift blame on the policies of third world nations tend to distract attention from the fact that many of the most damaging policies are those imposed by the IMF and World Bank: restructuring economy for export (to raise hard currency to pay back loans) rather than for feeding people. True: many governments have adopted policies harmful to their people, but before the West blames them for it, shouldn't we at least stop encouraging them?
Louis, Montreal, Canada

It's a matter of educating people how to grow food

Corinne, Malta
There is much to be done by the opulent west if only credibility is to be allotted to our plenty of talking. I would prefer having a tax imposed on something specific, and all its money going as donations to needy countries, rather than leaving the option to government who might decide on petty amounts according to its whims. Besides, I feel it's a matter of educating people how to grow food that is absolutely necessary. To this end, why not send out "armies" of people to teach and help these people stand to their food crisis? The real army, navy and air force could help here and show a bit of the flag.
Corinne, Malta

In Zimbabwe in January I drove past what was once enormous fields of wheat and maize, but was now land overgrown with weeds. This situation is a direct result of Mugabe's land-grab. The commercial farmers in that area had built a huge dam and irrigation system years ago, and were able to produce good crops come rain or drought. They are no longer allowed to farm.
Come on, stop this circus. Africans are very capable of feeding themselves. The pressure should be on the dictators of these lands and not on the West to feed the people.
Alex Guinness, London UK

It seems to me that there are two major causes of famine, often found together. Firstly, increasing populations in areas which are marginal for human populations. This includes areas prone to floods or frequent droughts. Secondly, bad government which includes states which borrowed large amounts of capital from western banks to build 'prestige' projects, and governments who start wars either externally or internally. The first of these is a consequence of technological and economic development, and is perhaps the more tractable of the two. The second is an unpleasant facet of human nature which is showing no signs of declining. I accept that the first world could do more to alleviate both of these problems by providing more aid and fewer guns, but in the end the people living in these areas must also bear some of the responsibility.
Keith, London, UK.

We have to control our population, or it will be controlled for us

R Callister, UK
The sad truth is that there are now too many people on this planet, both in the developed and developing world, to be sustained. To feed ourselves, we are already killing off species after species, the consequences of which are unknown but likely to be disastrous. In the end equilibrium will be achieved.. and billions will starve as a result. We are parasites on this world, and just like all parasites, we are slowly killing off our host and therefore putting our own future in jeopardy. It's not just food, as drinking water is in very short supply, as is land space. We have to control our population, or it will be controlled for us, resulting in mass starvation. I appreciate there are many other arguments but this is the one cause that nature is already addressing.
R Callister, UK

I think that if all the money, that is supposed to be for these undeveloped countries, would have arrived properly the problem might be solved in some way but that's not the reality. Of course every government of each country has responsibilities in this aspect and they should take more care of the people instead of thinking all the time in themselves. If they have the "power" to do it why don't they try?
Ana Fernandez, Barcelona, Spain

It is quite amazing to see that about 90% of respondents to this issue is from the West. This is some indication that the Western world is concerned about the issue. It is my belief that the problem of hunger can be solved if all people in authority can regard it a god given duty to mankind to do what is right in their line of authority to make sure that every living person gets at least food to eat; not riches. Believe me, this is all it takes. Let us think about it!
J. Harris, Lowell, United States

Improper planning and inadequate policies are the major causes of these natural problems a

Sedinam Akpedonu, Ghana
Much aid is need to salvage the famine-prone countries, it also lies on the leaders of these countries to be proactive towards such natural disasters. Improper planning and inadequate policies are the major causes of these natural problems and even though the world food summit is a good initiative, it also lies with poor countries to make the best out of the vast natural resources they are endowed with. The rich countries should not neglect the majority poor to their fate
Sedinam Akpedonu, Ghana

It is one thing for Africa to fail to produce hi-tech goods, but failing to feed itself is simply shameful. It is important to note that the Southern African countries on the brink of mass starvation are the ones with some of the best agricultural assets in Africa - i.e. very fertile soils, plenty of fresh water, including very well trained manpower, and a hard working peasantry. Governments simply need to throw in their part-correct policies.
Bruce Namakando, Tarrytown NY, USA

We are fortunate enough to live in a time when we are on the edge of the scientific breakthroughs needed to revolutionise world farming. GM crops and clean safe energy in enormous amounts will soon be available safely and cheaply to all, the only real question is whether we have the bravery to overcome our neo-Luddite tendencies and move forward into the future.
Thomas Bloxham, Reading, UK

Perhaps we should control our consumption before we lecture others

Craig Harry, England
All this prattle about population control is a red herring. We in the West use hundreds of times the resources consumed by the Earth's poorest peoples - perhaps we should control our consumption before we lecture others. Besides which all evidence points to birth rates reducing exponentially to economic development. The answer may actually be in OUR control.
Craig Harry, England

Although population explosion is a genuine factor for the persistence of poverty and hunger, the crux of the problem lies in such eternal qualities like corruption and greed. A hundred years back Bengal had half the population as of today. Yet it suffered two back to back famines that left thousands dead. Indeed most of the famines are man made. The same goes for the African countries. From autocracy to democracy, poverty continues to be the constant scourge. It is futile to criticize the West or the efforts of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, for mere aid is hardly the solution. The fault lies in the very system of the society.
Shuvendu Sen, New York, USA

World hunger will not be defeated as long as the governments that allow their people to starve exist. It is a travesty to send food aid to countries in famine and starvation, when the only people to reap any of the benefits of the food given in charity, in most cases, are those with connections to the corrupt government officials. Quit wasting good food on countries that won't give it to its people.
Ken Keith, USA

All the people who are complaining that developing countries should limit their population should consider why people in these countries have such large families. Many people in the developing world are farmers, and so they need many children to work the land and grow crops, and also to provide care in old age. The poor availability of contraceptives is another problem. Instead of forcing these countries to limit the number of children born per family, we should redistribute wealth from the richer to the poorer world. Remember the saying "there is enough in the world for everyone's need, but not everyone's greed." Family size is well known to be associated with level of development, so as countries become socially, industrially and economically more advanced, family sizes will fall, just as what happened throughout Europe after the advent of the industrial revolution.
Pete, Durham, UK

The main cause of starvation in the "Third World" is the fact that powerful capitalist entities such as "The International Monetary Fund" (IMF) and the World Bank have their greedy claws on those countries' finances. Poorer countries are forced to grow cash crops to pay off their crippling debts to the western bankers. African farmers grow flowers that appear on restaurant tables in the west, instead of growing edible crops to feed the starving. Putting an end to the Third World debt (which most countries have paid off in interest three times over) will end the problem of starvation. I find the people here who say we should allow these innocent people to die because of the population growth quite nauseating.
Mark, UK

To solve the problem of world hunger, we must look at the root causes: lack of economic freedom and stability with the various countries. With a stable government and society, combined with economic freedom, prosperity will become achievable.
Daniel B. Rego, Los Angeles, USA

"Kaz, USA, via UK" you blame capitalism? Take a closer look at the fundamentally Socialist/dictatorial alternative you recommend. In order to achieve your aims, the state must have overwhelming power to force "conservation, compassion, and common sense" a level of power that always is corrupted over time. Vast majority of those suffering from hunger and poverty today are doing so under Marxist/socialist regimes, all powerful dictators or self proclaimed "monarchies". The most poor and hungry on Earth are living under leaders who have ample power and resources for doing good, but instead they ever so often choose a darker more selfish path. Your solutions will lead to the very thing that will bring more poverty and hunger, not less. Secular democracy with a solid bill of rights, true freedom, and yes, capitalism are a proven, albeit imperfect combination for promoting beneficial change.
Stephen, USA

Ultimately the real culprit is rampant capitalism

Kaz, USA/ UK
Rich countries force poor countries to accept their cheap food so that domestic markets collapse, and then force them to accept paltry pay for the food they must export to pay off the debts caused by market collapse. In poor countries, people have many children because of lack of access to contraceptives and because of the massive rate of infant mortality yet it is the people of the richest nations with the lowest birth-rates who consume the vast majority of the world's resources. There are many reasons for world hunger, but ultimately the real culprit is rampant capitalism - an unsustainable beast that actively encourages consumption without conservation, without compassion, and frankly without the least modicum of commonsense.
Kaz, USA, via UK

Put simply, no. If you address the current problem, by whatever means, a constraining limit on population will be removed and the world population will grow until the constraint manifests itself again. The only answer is to impose an artificial population constraint which will kick in before nature's own. Sadly, nobody seems prepared to do this and some religious groups even continue to preach just the opposite.
Steve Harrison, Epsom, England

In the last hundred years the population has gone from one billion to five billion because food has become cheaper and more abundant. If you increase production at the expense of the environment, the population will simply increase at a higher rate. Poor countries need to control their population or there is nothing anyone can do, regardless of how many silly protests the left has.
Chris, LA, USA

Peoples who live under conditions of tyranny will never be able to feed themselves. Food without freedom and democratic institutions that guarantee opportunity will only increase their numbers and exacerbate their starving.
Bob Wymer, Austin, TX, USA

God's earth provides enough to feed everyone, but greed dishonesty and politics prevents everyone getting enough by ensuring that some get far more than they need and prices being kept high by wastage. GM isn't the answer: justice is.
Phil, UK

Governments must take action to reduce the global population

Brian, UK
The problem of hunger, like the problems of pollution, congestion, etc., is caused by overpopulation, pure and simple. Governments must take action to reduce the global population. Aim for less than 1 billion by 2100, eventually reducing to a level around 100 million. Then we will be able to feed the population, and have sufficient resources for all of humanity to enjoy a reasonable standard of living, without destroying the planet on which we are dependent.

Unfortunately this is highly unlikely to happen because the demands of "economic growth" require burgeoning populations in order to create more consumers. The fact that many of these are unable to feed themselves without external aid is simply ignored, along with the environmental consequences of this insane and unsustainable policy.
Brian, UK

Of course it can! There is plenty of food on the planet! But no one seems to care do they? Twenty four thousand people die of starvation every day and Blair and Bush do not even bother to attend the UN summit. I would be personally willing to have a tax on hunger on my salary, with the money used to feed the starving people. We have so much, how can we be so selfish?
Lizzie, London, UK

We are the fourth richest country in the world. If we can't help others, then who can we help?
Mr Harry Wentworth, Torquay, Devonshire, England

There is nothing wise and good about allowing the world's population to keep increasing (if anything we should be looking at a reduction to no more than 1 billion, not supporting an increase towards 7+ billion). To do so threatens the balance of life in the world. Short-sighted compassion is being placed before pragmatism, and in saving a few we are condemning billions to a long slow death when the system collapses under its own weight.
Lee, Winchester, England

Of course not! I think very few of us are doing enough to help fight world famine! I believe that the governments of the so-called "developed" countries(how can anyone be called "developed" when we still live in a world where many people die of hunger?) do very little to relieve the people from their sufferings. Definitely all foreign aid donations should be increased, but at the same time I think there should be a co-ordinated effort to help develop the infrastructure of these countries, so that they can soon stand on their own feet, without the occasional "handouts" from the West, which actually sustain the existing problem.
Irene N., Athens, Greece

As a race, humans can achieve anything if we all work together. We are taught to do team projects at school or work because it is often the best way of achieving a task. Yet on a global scale we don't do this. I think the main hurdle to global teamwork are the world's governments. They are showing the wrong kind of leadership. This problem can be solved but it is frustrating to think that it will not be solved in our lifetimes.
David, Birmingham, UK

Of course we are not doing enough to help fight world famine. The most important thing is not how much we should donate but how to use the resource donated currently. We should stop the resources from being wasted as they are at present.
Chia wei Huang, Taiwan

Not unless third world countries control their population explosion. It makes absolutely no sense for people in third world countries who can barely feed themselves to have so many children.
Richard, USA

Widespread hunger won't ever be solved when even the destructive energy-intensive form of agriculture is racing to keep up with population growth. A sustainable world population is probably a third of today's.
Neil Gall, Edinburgh, Scotland

Vast areas of Africa should be the most productive agricultural continent on the planet. Instead, through incompetence and corruption by just about all the African governments (with just a few pitiful exceptions), vast areas of the continent can't even feed themselves! If we (in the prosperous West) want to do anything about the underlying problem, we have to interfere politically, economically and, yes, even militarily. By simply providing aid we are subsidizing ineptitude and perpetuating the problem. Unfortunately, it's cheaper to "throw aid" at the problem than really deal with it.
Mark M. Newdick, US/UK

There is a common myth that the world does not produce enough food to feed everyone. This is a lie, there is more than enough food, it's just the management of resources that causes starvation. The biggest cause of famine is the IMF. They insist that third world countries produce cash crops to export to the west at bargain prices. When in reality they should be encouraged to produce food to feed their own people. Still as long as there's enough people alive to sell arms to, I'm sure the west will be happy.
Jason, UK

I think we are doing more than enough to fight world hunger, and we simply cannot go on spending billions of dollars from our taxes trying to help the six countries most at risk, when to be honest, 99% most of their problems are caused by corrupt governments. At the end of the day, these countries must help themselves, instead of expecting richer nations to keep on helping them, year after year, decade after decade. Charles Darwin had a word for it - it's called survival of the fittest.

Hunger may well disappear from the poor countries of the world if their governments are serious enough to want to tackle the problem. A country like India has a food surplus, but millions in that country still do not have enough to eat. To crown it all, its government now wants to export more food, which EU countries are keen to buy. If such short sighted free market ideology is allowed to determine policy making in these matters, the world may never be rid of hunger.
Dirk Briers, Glasgow, UK

See also:

10 Jun 02 | Europe
05 Jun 02 | Africa
30 May 02 | Africa
19 Feb 02 | Africa
08 Jan 02 | South Asia
04 Dec 01 | South Asia
21 Jul 01 | Americas
06 Mar 02 | Africa
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