Global food aid can reduce hunger if extended to poor

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New Delhi, Sept. 15 (PTI): Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said global food aid given on time and directly to people suffering from malnutrition and hunger could yield better results.

“Food aid has to be provided on time directly to those suffering from hunger in order to ensure better results,” FAO Senior Economist Terri Raney told PTI here.

The UN agency’s global report on ‘The State of Food and Agriculture’ this year focusses on the issue of international food aid.

The report would deal on issues of nutritional security worldwide through the mechanism of food aid, she added.

Raney, the editor of FAO’s annual report ‘The State of Food and Agriculture’, said that India’s experience in food aid since pre-Green Revolution days would also receive a special reference in the yet to be released report as a case study.

“The report will draw reference from Indian experience in dealing with the food aid as a tool to fight back hunger,” she said, adding that it would also analyse whether such aid hampers the local farm sector.

Extending the aid through the government agencies does not always give the desired results but the aid extended directly to the people who are in need could give desirable results, she said.

On current global status, she said the number of hungry people has risen in the last 15 years, despite China, Peru and Brazil showing success stories.

On south east Asian countries like India, the availability of reliable statistics on people suffering from hunger still remains a grey area for arriving at a correct level of hunger estimation.

The UN agency, however, would adopt a new methodology in the estimation of worldwide hunger in its next report to be released by the end of this year.

The FAO economist termed the experience of Latin American country Peru as a “big success story” on how to fight hunger in an effective way.

She also praised the “zero hunger” programme of Brazil.

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