Launching the Era of the Millennium Development Goals

January 29, 2005 - New York

Presentation by Joan Holmes, President at The Hunger Project's Vanguard of Leadership Conference


On January 17 and 18, in more than 30 cities around the world including New York, Rome and Brussels – and in the next few weeks in more than 120 countries – the UN landmark action plan “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals” – will have been launched. The UN report is a bold initiative that refuses to accept hunger as inevitable, and that has as its intention to cut poverty and hunger in half by 2015 – and to end these conditions altogether within the coming years. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world’s time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions – income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion – while promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability. They are also basic human rights – the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security as pledged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Millennium Declaration. The Goals are ends in themselves to be sure, but they are also capital inputs – that is – they are the means to a productive life, economic growth, and to development. This launches a whole new era in human development. This is the first time our community of nations has come together to create a unified plan of action to solve the basic issues facing humankind. The world has never before had a framework like the MDGs. Today, you and I are going to get clear on this strategic framework for development for the world community. We are also going to get clear on The Hunger Project’s relationship to this new era. This will require that all of us in The Hunger Project take on a new level of global citizenship - a new level of substantive understanding -a new level of clarity and focus. This MDG framework is what the planet is going to use for at least the next 10 years. And, it is what every individual on the planet needs to know in order to participate potently as a global citizen.

The Millennium Declaration and the Development Agenda

The Human Agenda

As you may remember, over the last 15 years, there have been a series of issue-oriented world conferences:

  • The World Summit for Children in 1990
  • The Earth Summit on the Environment in Rio in 1992
  • The Cairo Population Summit in 1994
  • The Copenhagen Summit in 1995
  • The World Conference on Women in Beijing 1995
  • The World Food Summit in 1996

These conferences were intended to be powerful tools for focusing the world’s intention on specific issues - and they were. In 1995, The Hunger Project published a paper examining these conferences. We pointed out that these were not merely a series of individual events, but if looked at from the whole, these conferences provided the world community with something new – the emergence of a truly unified global agenda. We pointed out that the issues addressed at these conferences, while previously seen as distinct, actually represented one nexus of inextricably linked issues – and that only by solving them all can you solve any one of them. We called this the “new human agenda”.

UN Millennium Summit

In September 2000, the members of the United Nations recognized this same phenomenon and held the Millennium Summit to address all of the paramount issues facing the global community, and specifically, to identify actions that needed to be taken in the next 15 years.

Millennium Declaration

The document that came out of the 2000 Millennium Summit is called the Millennium Declaration. It was signed by 189 countries. The Millennium Declaration addresses three major agendas The first is Peace, Security, and Disarmament. In keeping with that agenda, the Secretary-General created a High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change which delivered its report on December 2, 2004[1]. The second agenda is Human Rights, Democracy, and Good Governance. The UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and other structures that existed before the Millennium Summit manage this agenda. The third agenda is Development and Poverty Eradication. The Millennium Project and the Hunger Task Force were created within the rubric of this agenda. The work of The Hunger Project falls within this agenda. In addition, it is important to recognize that the Millennium Declaration made a special call for the protection of the environment and a renewed commitment to meeting the special needs of Africa.

Development Agenda

Of the three agendas in the Declaration, we’re going to focus our energy on examining the development agenda. In the Millennium Declaration, within the Development Agenda, wealthy countries and developing countries committed themselves to a new global partnership in which each will play a stronger and more effective role towards achieving a more equal, just, and healthy world. Wealthy countries committed to the following:

  • Make trade more free and fair
  • Implement debt relief, especially for Africa
  • And significantly increase development assistance

Developing countries committed to the following:

  • Make poverty reduction a budget priority
  • Reduce corruption
  • Scale up best practices (programs that have proved to be effective)
  • Open up to new science and technology
  • And commit to participatory democracy

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

After the Declaration was adopted, the United Nations consolidated the commitments and targets for development into eight quantifiable goals called the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs. The MDGs set measurable targets for significantly reducing the gravest development problems by 2015 and resolving each problem completely over the long term. The MDGs also set specific indicators to measure the progress of each nation towards each goal. For example, for the goal to eradicate hunger and poverty, the indicators for hunger are:

  • The prevalence of underweight children under the age of 5
  • And the proportion of the population whose daily calorie intake is below the minimum level[2].

Let me give you an overview of the 8 Millennium Development Goals.

  • Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
    To reduce by half the proportion of people living under $1 per day. There are 1.1 billion people living on less than $1 per day. Of regions where The Hunger Project works, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are not on track to meet this goal. I’ll be speaking to the hunger part of this goal later.
  • Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education.
    In primary education, there is progress in most regions, but Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are significantly off-track.
  • Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
    The target for this goal is defined only in terms of enrollment of girls in school. This severely narrows the issue from what really needs to happen. If The Hunger Project had written the targets for this goal, we would have included:
    • Empower and enhance women’s decision-making in the society and in the home.
    • Ensure that women have all basic human freedoms equal to men.
    • Ensure that women have rights to property and legal recourse that are equal to men.
  • Goal 4: Reduce child mortality.

    Child Mortality rates are generally declining but progress has slowed in many regions, especially South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
    Maternal mortality is one of the most egregious injustices in the world. In Ethiopia, one in every 14 women dies in childbirth. In Europe, one woman dies in every 28,000. The maternal mortality rate is literally a thousand times worse in the developing world than in wealthy countries.
  • Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
    The target for this goal is to have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. The people who formulated this may be counting on the development of a vaccine. As we know, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is still out of control across Africa, threatens to be that way in South Asia and is gaining ground in Latin America.
  • Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability.
    As a part of that goal, there are targets to cut by half the proportion of people without safe drinking water in rural areas and the proportion of people without sanitation in rural areas. Most regions are on track for safe drinking water except for Sub-Saharan Africa. But the world is not on track to meet the sanitation goal.
  • Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for Development.
    A global partnership will include fair trade, increased and improved aid, and debt relief from developed countries and a commitment to better governance from developing countries.

These commitments made in 2000 were reaffirmed and further defined by the Monterrey Consensus and the Resolutions passed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, both of which took place in 2002. The Millennium Project has recommended that the goals for debt should be redefined as a level of debt consistent with achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which could include 100% debt cancellation. I’ve already spoken about increasing development assistance. I’d like to touch briefly on what we mean when we say fair trade. Perhaps the greatest obstacle to regional and international trade is high agricultural subsidies for farmers in wealthy countries. A subsidy is a payment by the government that enables farmers to sell their goods at lower prices. Let’s look at the examples of sugar and cotton subsidies.

Sugar Subsidies

In a fully liberalized global marketplace, Europe would produce no sugar whatsoever. However, Europe ranks among the world’s leading sugar exporters. To protect its own sugar growers, the European Union mandates that farmers get paid 5 times the world market price, up to an allotted quota[3]. To support its sugar producers, the U.S. guarantees a domestic price for raw sugar that can be up to 3 times the world price – and costing U.S. consumers $2 billion a year[4].

Cotton Subsidies

Another example is cotton. Across Africa, cotton crops directly support more than 10 million small-scale farmers. African farmers can produce cotton for less than 50 cents per pound compared to 73 cents per pound in the US and even more in Europe. From 1999-2000, even though U.S. cotton is nearly 50% more expensive to produce than African cotton, U.S. cotton exports grew from 25% to 40% of the world’s cotton market. This happened because mostly large, corporate US cotton growers received $12.9 billion in government subsidies over 3 years which enabled them to sell their cotton for less than it cost anyone in the world to produce. The African farmer can’t afford to sell any product for less than she produced it because she doesn’t receive subsidies from her government.

Overall impact of subsidies

Rich countries spend $350 billion a year on farm subsidies. That’s around $1 billion a day – and roughly equivalent to the entire GDP of sub-Saharan Africa or 6 times what developed countries spend on development assistance. Eliminating agricultural protectionism could help the developing world’s income grow by an estimated $1.5 trillion in the next decade. According to Oxfam, a 1% increase in Africa’s share of world exports would be worth five times as much as the continent’s share of aid and debt relief. (Economist 18 Dec 2004).

The MDGs and Global Citizenship

As we look at the 8 MDGs, we can see that they take into account all the basic issues and call forth the key actions that need to be taken by both the developed and developing world in order to achieve the goals. When we look at the MDGs, I don’t think we can be anything but proud to be a global citizen living on this planet at this moment in history when for the first time there is a global unified strategy to address basic human issues on the planet. The question will arise, “As a world community, will we make it?” To that question, I say: It’s highly unlikely that every MDG will be achieved in every country. But more will be achieved because of these goals than would have been achieved if they had never existed. The actions that need to be taken on the international and national level to achieve the MDGs will empower The Hunger Project’s work. And, The Hunger Project’s work will empower people and nations to achieve these goals. There are going to be naysayers about these goals and about the Reports of the Millennium Project and the Hunger Task Force. We ourselves have comments about elements we would have done differently. I want to make clear that The Hunger Project totally and unequivocally supports the Millennium Development Goals and the unified global strategy they call forth. We will do everything necessary to align ourselves with these goals and everything possible to ensure that they are met.

Millennium Campaign

In 2002, the United Nations Secretary General created the Millennium Campaign to raise awareness of the MDGs among citizens in every nation across the world and to promote the MDGs as a framework for the world community to assess the progress of development efforts. The Millennium Campaign is headed by the former Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation and has offices in each region of the world.

Millennium Project

Also in 2002, the Secretary-General established The Millennium Project, a research and advisory body with a three-year mission to develop a recommended plan of action for achieving the eight MDGs. Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General and the head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, was named Director of the Millennium Project at its inception. The Millennium Project can be understood to have two phases: the substantive phase and the outreach phase.

Substantive Phase

In 2002, the Millennium Project formed ten Task Forces, comprised of leading experts from academia, government, UN agencies, the private sector, and the NGO world, that have now devised strategies to meet the MDGs. The Task Forces are:

  1. Poverty and Economic Development
  2. Hunger—As you know, I serve on this Task Force.
  3. Primary Education and Gender Equality
  4. Child Health and Maternal Health
  5. HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, Other Major Diseases, and Access to Essential Medicines
  6. Environmental Sustainability
  7. Water and Sanitation
  8. Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers
  9. Open, Rule-Based Trading Systems
  10. Science, Technology and Innovation

Each task force submitted their complete report before the end of 2004.

Outreach Phase

The Millennium Project has integrated the ten Final Reports and their attendant recommendations into a synthesis report titled “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the MDGs”. The Millennium Project has now completed its substantive phase. As I said, on January 17 and 18, the Millennium Project launched its unified global strategy to achieve the MDGs in 30 key capital cities around the world. I attended the cornerstone event of this “Global Launch” on the 17th here in New York at the UN, at which Jeffrey Sachs, the head of the whole project, spoke. The Secretary-General has empowered Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Project Secretariat to disseminate and make known the recommendations to the following groups:

  • UN agencies
  • Developing country governments
  • Donor country governments
  • International donors
  • The private sector
  • Academia
  • Civil Society and NGOs

A new era for the world and The Hunger Project

As I said, this “Practical Plan” is designed to align the global community around the MDGs and provide a framework for implementation. The Millennium Project will complete its outreach phase on June 30, 2005 and will cease to exist at that time. So this is a whole new era in having the world work as a community. A whole new era in making significant progress on world issues. A whole new era of cooperation, partnership and strategy. This is a new era in the world community and a new era for The Hunger Project. There are no other people on earth that I’d rather launch this with – come to terms with it – than you, the Vanguard of Leadership. This is our task this afternoon. This is our challenge this afternoon.

2005: “A Make-or-Break Year for the MDGs”

Some are calling 2005 the “make-or-break” year for the MDGs. Let’s look at the world calendar. The focus on development issues will be more prominent in 2005 than in recent years starting with a number of high-profile events which began with the launch of the Millennium Project Global Plan in January. In March, the Secretary-General will present a report to the UN on the first five years of progress after the Millennium Declaration to the United Nations. Also in March, the Secretary-General will issue his special paper on the reform of the United Nations. In the same month, British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Special Commission on Africa will deliver its major report on development for Africa[5]. In July, Great Britain will host the G-8 Summit where international development will be a high priority. Prime Minister Blair is advocating for a doubling, at least, of financing for the implementation of the MDGs. In mid-September, heads of state and national leaders will gather at the UN for the Millennium Summit+5. They will come together to assess what has been accomplished and what new insights can be gained from the work of the Task Forces. With this knowledge and this experience, they will strategize and move forward with plans for how to achieve the MDGs over the next ten years. The Secretary-General intends that participants in the Millennium Summit + 5 will make “bold and far-reaching decisions” to “put in place the building blocks for a safer, more prosperous, and a fairer world”.

The Hunger Project Fall Event

And on October 22, in the Hilton Ballroom, The Hunger Project will host the Fall Event – “MDGs and The Hunger Project: A Global Citizen’s Briefing” That afternoon, we will host a Policy Forum that delineates the entire policy framework through discussions by senior people in key areas like democracy, hunger, and HIV/AIDS. At the Evening Gala, we will be clear on what The Hunger Project’s groundbreaking contributions are to the achievement of the MDGs.

What’s So — Hunger

Now we are going to examine in depth the Hunger Task Force Final Report. In order to do that potently and effectively let’s you and I step back for a minute and really look at hunger on our planet in 2005.

Hunger on a Global Scale

852 million people worldwide were undernourished in 2000–2002:[6] 815 million in developing countries 28 million in the countries in transition * Most of the hunger in “countries in transition” is found in the former Soviet Union, known now as the Commonwealth of Independent States. Among these countries are: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, and Russia 9 million in the industrialized countries Most of the world’s hungry (more than 70%[7]) live in rural areas of the developing world.[8] Almost one third of all children in developing countries are stunted.[9] Girls and women are more likely than boys and men to be malnourished and to suffer the most extreme effects of hunger. Globally, girls are up to three times more likely to suffer malnutrition than boys.

Hunger and Population Growth

Let me restate the target for the hunger MDG: to cut the proportion of hungry people in half by 2015. 1990 is the baseline year. In 1990, 20% of the global population was hungry. To be successful, we will need to be at 10% in 2015. To understand the issue of hunger, and the MDG for reducing hunger, we need to take into account population growth. It is noteworthy that there is no MDG on reducing population growth. This is stunning when you look at the population growth and hunger data. However, the MDGs, which address empowering women, education, health and ending hunger all affect, and are affected by, population growth. Hunger and Population Growth graph As you can see the actual number of hungry people has increased since 1990, while the percentage of the population that is hungry has fallen. This is due to population growth. It is projected that in 2015, the population of the developing world will be 6 billion. In order to meet the hunger MDG, that is, to reduce the proportion of hungry people to 10%, the number of hungry people must drop to 600 million. In absolute numbers, meeting the goal will mean that there are approximately 250 million fewer hungry people in 2015 than there are now. If we continue making the progress we are making right now—and the world’s proportion of hungry people remains at 17%--by 2015 we will have a billion hungry people, given the population growth. But, if we become more effective—which is the whole point of the MDG’s—and reduce the rate to 10% of the population, there would be 600 million hungry people on the planet – 400 million fewer hungry people than we would have had. The difference is between the 1 billion hungry people that we could have if we don’t do anything more, and if we have 400 million fewer hungry people than we would have had in 2015 if we failed to reduce the proportion of hungry people from its current level.

Hunger in Regions Where The Hunger Project Works

South Asia

Nearly 40% of the world’s hungry live in South Asia. South Asia is distinguished by:

  • Being awash in food—India has 60 million tons of surplus food in storage
  • Having large country populations—South Asia has nearly twice the population of all of Sub-Saharan Africa, and
  • South Asia also has the most severe subjugation of women which is a strong determining factor of the persistence of hunger

As you may remember, the landmark UNICEF study, The Asian Enigma discovered that these “exceptionally high rates of malnutrition in South Asia are rooted deep in the soil of inequality between men and women.”


Sub-Saharan Africa has 204 million hungry people.[10] Note that in 1980, this number was 133 million.[11] About 24% of the world’s hungry live in Sub-Saharan Africa[12]. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world in which both the number and the proportion of malnourished children has been consistently rising in recent years.[13] An estimated 70% of the world’s AIDS burden is concentrated in Africa. The massive loss of human capital, family disruption and instability arising from HIV/AIDS severely limits Africa’s ability to feed itself.[14] Women, who account for more than 58% of infected adults in sub-Saharan Africa[15] are particularly burdened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their key roles as food producers and family caretakers are challenged by the additional responsibilities of caring for sick and dying family members, taking on increased workloads, or battling the virus themselves.

Latin America

Latin America as a region has only about 9% of the hunger in the world. For the vast majority of the population, hunger has been ended - and this is an achievement worth celebrating. At the same time - for a particular segment of Latin American society - hunger and poverty can be as entrenched and severe as it is in Africa or South Asia. Latin America is distinguished by the extreme nature of inequalities that exist within its society—inequalities based on:

  • Gender
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Class
  • Geographic location

Latin America’s indigenous people often occupy the lowest socio-economic strata of society, and are therefore most likely to confront poverty, hunger, etc. Indigenous women experience an even lower quality of life than indigenous men. Indigenous women are among the most disadvantaged, isolated and disempowered people in all of Latin America.

Ending Hunger—A Moving Target

Hunger is a complex issue. Ending hunger is a moving target, affected by complex factors. Ending hunger is not like ending small pox or polio. With small pox, you vaccinate each person with the small pox vaccine, and you eliminate it. With polio, you vaccinate each person with the polio vaccine, and you eliminate it. Ending hunger is not like small pox or polio. It doesn’t always stay solved. Ending hunger is a complex human problem affected by such factors as:

Corruption and poor governance.

Take a look at the example of Zimbabwe. If you look at the 1980s, the situation was encouraging— agricultural production was off the charts, infant mortality dropped dramatically, life expectancy sharply increased. In the 1980s, Zimbabwe was the success story of the African continent. In 1988 The Hunger Project awarded the Africa Prize to Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe. But, who knew Mugabe would become a tyrant and enact policies that destroyed the progress? Now, Zimbabwe has increasing infant mortality rates and among the lowest life expectancy rates. Agricultural production has sharply decreased. As of 2002, Zimbabwe’s IMR has climbed to 76[16], up from 53 in the early 1990s.[17] Life expectancy at birth has plummeted. Children born in the early 1990s were expected to live for 62 years.[18] Children born between 2000 and 2005 are expected to live 33.1 years.[19] The whole world has condemned Mugabe’s policies, including The Hunger Project. By doing so, we affirm our own integrity, but nothing in the world has altered his reckless and destructive course of action.


Another factor profoundly affecting the persistence of hunger is HIV/AIDS. The great hope for Africa was that Zimbabwe would continue its phenomenal progress, South African Apartheid would end, and then democracy would come to South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. It was thought that these four countries would then be the engines of growth for the continent. While apartheid ended and democracy arrived, the devastation of HIV/AIDS also came onto the radar screen and compromised Africa’s potential and promise.

Other factors include:

  • Population growth—as I said earlier, rapidly increasing populations can outstrip progress that is made.
  • Gender issues—gender issues continue to give rise to hunger. In addition, gender dynamics are changing the population structure of rural areas in the developing world. As males migrate towards cities, there are increasing numbers of female-headed households with no support or empowerment.
  • Civil unrest and conflict—when conflict arises, progress towards ending hunger can be reversed—Cote d’Ivoire is an example of a development success story disintegrating because of internal conflict.
  • Natural disasters—the recent Indian Ocean tsunami is a vivid example of how natural disasters can wreak havoc on unprepared developing countries. In Africa, common natural disasters are droughts and locust invasions.

In addition, there is:

  • Urbanization
  • Changing technology
  • Macroeconomic policy
  • Trade policy
  • Environmental degradation

Hunger Trends: 1980s-present


For many developing countries, the 1980s is considered the lost decade for development[20] and was characterized by:

  • Failed policies
  • Failed leadership
  • A scarcity of democratic governance
  • Corruption
  • A lack of commitment from leaders to work for the well-being of their people
  • And the African famines

When examined, it became clear that the African famines of the 1980s were a result of not only of drought, but also of failed policies and failed leadership.


The 1990’s began on a note of great hope and optimism.

  • The Berlin Wall fell in November 1989.
  • Nelson Mandela was released from prison in February 1990 and apartheid in South Africa ended.
  • In December 1991, Soviet communism collapsed and the Cold War, which dominated the past 50 years of history, came to an end.

The atmosphere was charged with progress in the expansion of democracy, peace, civil society, and a consciousness of gender issues.

Yet, some of this enormous optimism was tempered by two phenomena:

  • The rise of communal and ethnic strife that had been suppressed during the Cold War
  • The HIV/AIDS epidemic spiraling out of control in Africa

As I said earlier, during the 1990’s a series of important world summits were held—the Children’s Summit, Beijing, and the World Food Summit.

Now let’s look at what happened to hunger in the 1990s:

During the first half of the decade, the number of hungry people globally declined by 27 million.[21]

This was due mainly to successes in China and India where the number of hungry people was reduced by 50 million and 13 million, respectively. In other parts of the world, at this same time, the number of hungry people increased.[22]

During the last half of the decade, globally, the number of hungry people increased by 18 million.[23]

This increase can be entirely attributed to India—in the second half of the decade, the number of hungry increased by 18 million.[24]

This increase occurred at a time of rapid economic reforms for the middle class in India.

These economic reforms bypassed India’s large, growing poor and rural population.

In the late 1990s, China continued to make progress, although it slowed dramatically. China’s modest hunger reductions compensated for set-backs that were experienced in the rest of the world.[25]

The 1990’s closed with a net reduction of hungry people by 9 million.[26]

 1980-2000 graph


So far, globalization has been a sweeping development factor this decade, and people are just scrambling to understand the positive and negative effects of it.

Many experts would agree that three main policy issues, as we have already discussed, top this decade’s development agenda: Aid, Debt, and Trade.

Hunger Task Force Final Report Analysis

My intention for this section is that you have an understanding of the Hunger Task Force’s recommendations, the framework that the Task Force Final Report uses, and the framework The Hunger Project uses.

I am proud to be part of the Hunger Task Force. There were many people who did distinguished work on this report—the Task Force members, the Task Force staff, and of course the Task Force Coordinators Dr. Pedro Sanchez and Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.

I feel that this document will increase the world’s understanding of hunger and be useful to countries in identifying effective strategies to end it.

Hunger Task Force Final Report Domains

 political action; policy reforms and enabling conditions; community action

The Hunger Task Force recommends interventions in 3 different domains.

The first and most broad domain focuses on expressing the international commitment to the end of hunger through political action.

The second domain focuses on reforming national policy and creating enabling conditions for the end of hunger.

The third domain focuses on community-level actions and interventions.

Hunger Task Force Domain 1: International Political Action

The Hunger Task Force’s first domain focuses on bridging the gap between promises to end hunger made by the international community and the actions required to do so.

For example, for wealthy countries, the Task Force recommends strengthening advocacy organizations to advocate for increasing development assistance.

For developing nations, the Task Force recommends strengthening advocacy organizations to demand that developing country governments give greater priority to ending hunger.

For all countries, the Task Force recommends:

  • Use international meetings to move governments from commitment to concrete action to eliminate hunger.
  • Communicate progress towards reaching the hunger MDG through clear benchmarks to the public and policymakers.

In many countries, coalitions of NGOs are forming to lobby governments to commit to the MDGs. You can be sure that The Hunger Project will be a member of every one that is appropriate.

In many ways, it will be new learning for the international community to really be effective in this domain.

Hunger Task Force Domain 2: Reforming National Policy

In the national domain, the Hunger Task Force recommends 10 major interventions for reforming policy and creating enabling conditions for the end of hunger.

These 10 interventions are primarily directed towards governments of countries where hunger persists and donors who work with those countries.

The 10 interventions are:

  1. Promote an integrated policy approach—include all the elements of tackling hunger as a unified strategy in overall development plans.

    This should be familiar to you because it’s similar to the Strategic Planning-in-Action (SPIA) process we do whenever we launch a new country or go into a new village.

    In the Hunger Task Force report, this planning process would happen nation by nation.

  2. Restore the budgetary priority of the agricultural and rural sectors—spend much more government money on agriculture and rural areas.

    Where this is particularly important is in Africa, the only region in the world where agricultural production has been declining in the last 25 years.

    As the world knows, no industrialized country became industrialized without first a major breakthrough in agricultural production.

    Since 1986, Africa has been endeavoring to have its countries increase the allocations for agriculture.

    As recently as when I was last in Ethiopia when Jeffrey Sachs spoke about increasing agriculture budget allocations in Africa, some of the Presidents talked about taking their countries directly to industrialization.

  3. Build developing country capacity—train people to have the necessary skills, for example, literacy and numeracy.

    A country is as great as the investment in its people. If they’re educated and healthy, they are productive.

    Why is it that we as a world community still haven’t learned to invest in and empower our people?

    There’s an old joke that a feudal lord is always in favor of education for his enemy’s serfs. The idea is that the worst thing you can do to your enemy is teach his people to read.

    For years, women have been denied education to keep them in their place.

  4. Link nutritional and agricultural interventions—make sure that what farmers grow is going to nourish people in the best way.

    This may seem obvious to us but in most countries, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture have very little coordination. So this is a vitally important intervention.

  5. Increase poor people’s access to productive resources—such as land, rivers, and lakes.

    Again, this is vitally important if you look at Ethiopia, all land is still owned by the government. Their agricultural productivity is one of the lowest on the African continent.

    In India, the fish ponds are all owned by the government. They are not maintained and are often silted over and impossible to use.

    This means that people cannot fish and have a livelihood.

    The Hunger Project has mobilized people to work with one of the most complex, entangled, and slowest bureaucracies in the world in order to make individual ponds accessible.

    The truth is all ponds should be de-silted and available to people. We shouldn’t have to go fishpond by fishpond.

    In our “little book” we point out that the issue is not giving a fish, or even teaching a person to fish – the issue is cutting the barbed wire that prevents people from reaching the lake, or in this case, the pond.

  6. Empower women and girls. Women are responsible for all the key actions required to end hunger, yet through laws, customs and traditions, they are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to carry out their responsibilities.

    The Hunger Task Force and The Hunger Project see gender in fundamentally different ways.

    The Hunger Task Force treats gender as a contributing factor to hunger. The Hunger Project recognizes it as a causal factor.

    Of all the 10 interventions, The Hunger Project feels that empowering women and girls is the most fundamental intervention.

    The Hunger Project has made empowering women to be the key change agents in ending hunger its top priority in all areas of the world.

  7. Strengthen agricultural and nutrition research. In our understanding, strengthening agricultural research may be the least important intervention because the world community has not yet linked hungry people to the existing agricultural technology.

    Linking hungry people to existing agricultural technology must come first.

    African women tills the ground with a baby on her back

    The woman in this photo, like the many—far too many— women food farmers on the African continent, is using a short-handled hoe to farm her land because society says that if she uses a longer tool, she is lazy.

    We took this photo of a woman engaging in back-breaking labor with a hand-held hoe in 1984. It could have been taken in 1404. Now it’s 2005, and she’s still using the technology her ancestors used 500 years ago.

    simple plow pulled by an animal in use

    It is known that switching to a simple plough pulled by an animal would save 80% of women farmers’ time in the fields[27].

  8. Remove internal and regional barriers to agricultural trade. Since most hungry people are farmers, removing obstacles to their agricultural trade is among the best interventions to empower hungry people to end their own hunger.

    The obstacles to local and regional trade can range from bad transportation, to local tariffs, to price-gouging.

    Another trade obstacle is the lack of knowledge people have about what crops can be sold for export.

  9. Increase the effectiveness of donor agencies’ hunger-related programming.

    Switzerland and Ireland each gave around $30 million dollars for projects in Tanzania from 2000 to 2002.

    With those $60 million dollars, the Swiss ran 5 separate projects while the Irish ran 404 separate projects. There was no coordinated strategy and little visible impact.

    When reviewed by the World Bank, they stated that this is an example of a lack of effective donor strategy.

    Had the donors in Tanzania aligned behind a strategy like The Hunger Project’s epicenter strategy, the money could have provided epicenters within reach of every Tanzanian as well as every citizen of neighboring Uganda.

  10. Create vibrant partnerships to ensure effective policy implementation. This is critical because when all stakeholders are involved in policy implementation, there is greater ownership and accountability.

    In the developing world, the Task Force recommends creating partnerships between government, civil society and NGO consortiums to keep the distribution of funds responsible and accountable.

    In the year 2000, the World Bank committed $1 billion dollars to fighting AIDS worldwide that included $60 million for AIDS-fighting community groups in Ethiopia.

    One year after the Ethiopian government received the funds, only $1.5 million dollars had been passed on to local groups.

    Two years after the initial money arrived in Addis, $12 million dollars, only one-fifth of the total had been disbursed[28].

    When civil society in developing nations knows that large sums of money have been delivered to government, they can hold government accountable for utilizing the money as agreed.

    If The Hunger Project were the sole author of this report, we would have added an 11th intervention in this section:

  11. Move government resources and decision-making closer to the local people through decentralized democracy.

    Only when government is decentralized can local people truly participate in government decision-making and hold government accountable for their promises.

    We’ve often referred to the horror stories in India before decentralization—teachers and health workers hired by the government would only show up on the 30th of the month to get their paychecks.

    Much of what the panchayat leaders we train do is to work closely with teachers and health workers to ensure quality service for their villages.

    In Africa, as government has decentralized, we’ve had much more success enlisting local government to provide teachers and health workers to be posted at our epicenters.

Hunger Task Force Domain 3: Community Action

The third domain in the Hunger Task Force Report is community action. There are five major community level interventions the Task Force recommends.

  1. Increase the agricultural productivity of food insecure farmers.

  2. Improve nutrition for the chronically hungry and vulnerable.

    • nutrition education programs
    • healthy mother, baby, and child nutrition and feeding programs
  3. For example:

  4. Reduce vulnerability of the acutely hungry through productive safety nets.

    For example, community food banks to ensure food security during drought or famine.

  5. Increase incomes and make markets work for the poor.

  6. Restore and conserve the natural resources essential for food security.

What’s Missing in Domain 3

If The Hunger Project had drafted this report, we would have added to this diagram the all-important phrase: community level action to empower hungry people to end their own hunger.

domains of action with empowering women and mobilizing hungry people

Also, we would have added two other major interventions at the community level:

  • The mobilizing and empowerment of women at the community level.
  • The mobilization and capacity-building of people, especially in rural areas.

Our intention of including mobilization was not fully realized, but The Task Force did incorporate a people-centered approach for implementation and a text box about our epicenter strategy.

I’ll discuss what we got included on gender in just a minute.

It’s important to know that when you read the Hunger Task Force Report, these five interventions plus the overall recommendation for each of the first two domains are listed as seven interventions of equal weight.

For example, in the Task Force’s taxonomy, “increasing incomes and making markets work for the poor” has the same weight as “creating policy reform and an enabling environment.”

Gender and the Hunger Task Force Report

Given the importance of gender to ending hunger, and the fact that it is our highest priority in The Hunger Project, I thought it important to look at gender in the Hunger Task Force report.

What’s included on gender in the report

Looking back from where we began, the coverage of gender in the report has improved greatly.

Women are now potently represented in this report as decision makers, nutrition providers, as food producers—as those whose efforts are critical to the end of the hunger. We got important points included in the final report in the following major distinctions:

Gender inequality impacts malnutrition: The report now includes that gender inequality is part of the social and political conditions that affect malnutrition.

  • We got in the discussion, in the form of a text box, of UNICEF’s Asian Enigma.
  • We also have in the report that women and girls often eat last and least.
  • Women are responsible for family nutrition
  • Women are food producers, including the statistical information on African women food farmers
  • Women’s decision-making abilities must be empowered
  • We got in information on how HIV/AIDS particularly affects women and their ability to nourish their families
  • Also included is information on women needing equal access to resources

Now, let me read to you 4 statements that are now included in the report, that underscore what I have just said—that gender is now potently mainstreamed in the Hunger Task Force Report:

  • “Gender equality is not simply socially desirable – it is a central pillar in the fight against hunger.”
  • “Addressing issues of gender equality is a fundamental precondition to overcoming the persistent causes of hunger.”
  • “Some of the guiding principles of the Task Force on Hunger include…mainstreaming gender equality...”
  • “Protecting women’s and girls’ rights, including their access to education and productive assets, is also critical for the sustainable elimination of malnutrition.”

The Hunger Project’s impact on the inclusion of gender

This is now a report that clearly recognizes the vital importance of women in these three roles.

Gender is now mainstreamed in the report.

For those of you who invested in The Hunger Project in the last year, when you made your investment at last year's Vanguard of Leadership conference, no one knew that I would have the opportunity to be on the Hunger Task Force, and literally participate in creating the strategy that pretty much will be followed around the world in ending hunger over the next ten years.

Because gender is now potently included in the report and the report will be a guideline for the all countries, the lives of millions of women will be affected. Your investment made this happen.

Every year we say what you are investing in, but every year more happens with your investment than we’re able to say in January.

When you invest, you hear about the programs, you hear about our expansion. But you are also investing in the capacity of The Hunger Project - The Hunger Project’s pioneering, strategic nature.

I recently received a letter from the Nobel Peace Prize-winning father of the Green Revolution—Norman Borlaug. In it, he wrote:

“I have spent 60 years seeing gender discrimination in scores of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. I agree with your call for action to remove this injustice. I will whole-heartedly back you. GO FOR IT!”

Hunger Task Force vs. The Hunger Project Frame of Reference

The Fundamental Way of Understanding of Hunger

I’d like to take a moment to discuss the underlying frame of reference that is the fundamental way of understanding hunger in the Hunger Task Force Report and compare it, if you will, to The Hunger Project.

The Hunger Task Force Report does not come from the old conventional understanding of hunger that “there are a billion mouths to feed”.

At the same time, neither does it come from the understanding that hungry people are the primary authors and actors for their own development and that women are the key change agents for the end of hunger.

Let me read you a statement from the Millennium Project synthesis report that I think underlies both the Hunger Task Force and the Millennium Project: “The specific technologies for achieving the goals are known. What is needed is to apply them at scale.”

There is also a pervasive sense throughout the document that “It can be done and we can do it”.

It would be my assessment that the primary group in that “we” is governments, macro-economists, and agriculture specialists.

But also included in the “we”, possibly in a secondary recognition, is civil society, NGOs, farmers and other stakeholders in the developing world.

However, in The Hunger Project’s point of view, including hungry people as stakeholders is a far cry from recognizing that the most important intervention is to mobilize hungry people, especially women, to end their own hunger.

The How in Ending Hunger

The Hunger Task Force Report does not come from the old conventional understanding that sees the end of hunger in terms of relief and delivering food.

Rather, the main focus of the Hunger Task Force Report is on growing more food through technical and agricultural solutions, and particularly growing more food in Africa which is really where the Hunger Task Force focuses in great measure.

Because the Task Force emphasizes growing more food through technical and agricultural solutions as the key to ending hunger, their focus is primarily on Africa where more food needs to be grown.

India, however, which has the most remaining hungry people, is not addressed as deeply in the Task Force Report given that India already produces a surplus of food.

The Hunger Project does not see the end of hunger as coming from only a technological solution. As you know, The Hunger Project comes from the perspective that hunger and ending hunger is a human issue.

Therefore for the Hunger Project, there is significant work to be done in India to transform the soil of inequality between men and women that perpetuates the life cycle of malnutrition.

For The Hunger Project, when we look at Africa, the empowerment of the African Woman Food Farmer is critical to ending hunger.

For The Hunger Project, empowering indigenous women in Latin America to overcome their marginalization is central to ending hunger in Latin America.

The Hunger Task Force’s strategy will improve conditions within the existing social structure.

The Hunger Project’s intention is to transform the societal structure.

The Hunger Task Force did not ask the question how do we transform the social conditions in which hungry people live their lives.

The Hunger Project is obsessed with that question and—on the ground in every area of the world—is seeking the best answers.

Who Are the Hungry?

Fundamentally, the Hunger Task Force Report and The Hunger Project have a very different understanding of “who are the hungry?”

The Hunger Task Force sees hungry people as being the people most vulnerable in society to shocks like drought, war, and famine.

The Hunger Project sees hungry people as the people who are subjugated, marginalized, oppressed, and who fundamentally lack the opportunity to end their own hunger. As you know, because of social conditions, there are more women who fit into this category than men.

At the same time, The Hunger Project makes clear that hungry people are resourceful, creative, wise, and the most hard-working people on the planet.

When given the opportunity, these people will end their own hunger and build lives of self-reliance and dignity for their families, their village, and their nation.

The Hunger Project interventions mapped onto the Hunger Task Force Recommendations

Let’s now go back through the recommendations, and see how the strategies pioneered by The Hunger Project are addressing what’s being called for in the Hunger Task Force Report.

Let me just give you some highlights within the framework of the National Policy Reforms. Although we are not doing our work at the national level at this time, in every region of the world we have proven effective strategies.

Domain 2 – National policy reform

  1. Promote an integrated policy approach

    In 1990, we pioneered and launched Strategic Planning-in Action – which is precisely a methodology for creating an integrated policy approach.

    We build it into all our work from the very start.

    • Our first milestone in each country is to hold a national strategic forum that brings together all key sectors of society – government, NGOs, academia, the private sector, women’s organizations, the media – to come to a shared understanding of the “big picture” of ending hunger - to create a shared vision – and align on shared strategic objectives.
    • Our epicenters in Africa are a microcosm of an integrated approach – empowering rural communities to meet all their basic needs.
    • Our Women’s Leadership Workshop in India trains elected women leaders in the 5-fold responsibility of their positions – health, nutrition, education, income and equal rights.
    • Our 50,000 animators in Bangladesh utilize a “40-point program” of integrated village objectives – and in Mexico, our animators have created their own “35-point program.”
  2. Restore the budgetary priority of the agricultural and rural sectors

    We have campaigned for this from 1984 to the present.

    • The Hunger Project launched the African Woman Food Farmer Initiative by mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of 8 countries to demand that governments invest in women farmers.
    • In Bangladesh – we’ve organized two national leadership alliances to demand reforms to devote more government resources to the rural areas – and to do so with local control and transparency.
    • As we mobilize rural communities everywhere in the world, we empower them to be effective in demanding greater resources from their governments.
  3. Build developing country capacity

    This is who we are, what we do. Mobilizing and building the capacity of local people is the heart of our work.

    • We've trained 2.5 million people through our Vision, Commitment, Action workshops in Africa, Latin America, and Bangladesh.
    • We've trained 60,000 animators to lead the VCA and to mobilize their villages.
    • We've trained 280,000 people in our HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop, and we've trained hundreds of specialized animators to lead it.
    • At our epicenters, we've trained thousands of women in literacy, numeracy, business management and better farming skills.
    • In Bangladesh, we've trained more than 100,000 young people for new employment opportunities.
    • Every day in Bolivia, we provide training over the radio to 500,000 Quechua speakers in the Andes, and we're training 1500 "people's reporters" to ensure the voice of the people is heard.
    • We've trained 25,000 elected Indian panchayat women in the Women's Leadership Workshop and followed up with trainings they've requested in financial management and legal rights.
    • In India, we’ve trained hundreds of reporters and editors in media workshops on the revolution these women are causing in the countryside.
    • Across the world, we've trained more than 1,000 trainers to lead the animator trainings and our 3-day Women's Leadership Workshop.
  4. Link nutritional and agricultural interventions.

    • In one of our Senegal epicenters, the women plant specially nutritious crops to make nutritional supplements for pre-school age children.
    • The mix is so successful that other NGOs are buying it from them for their own nutritional programs.
    • In addition, in Peru, in areas devastated by civil war, we trained coffee farmers to understand nutrition and grow specific vegetable crops to improve nutrition.
    • In parts of Bangladesh and India where anemia is widespread, we train women to understand the need for iron and how to grow iron-rich vegetables.

    After working with the Hunger Task Force, The Hunger Project is committed to creating a more in-depth nutrition component of our leadership training programs in Asia and Latin America this year.

  5. Increase poor people’s access to productive resources.

    This is an area that can only be addressed through government action. The Hunger Task Force is right on the money in urging governments to do this.

    We have isolated instances of success in this area, but it’s not what we’re focused on because it’s what government needs to do.

    In Africa, land ownership is based on how much land a family can farm. With the credit and technology we make available to African women food farmers, they can farm and own more land.

    We’ve talked about the fishponds, but it bears repeating: in India, they’re silted over and impossible to fish in even though if people could fish in them, they could build lives of self-reliance and dignity.

    We mobilized people to get their own government to de-silt the ponds. We got governments to do what they should have done in the first place.

    If national governments would take this on—

    If they would make sure people have land so that they could farm it

    If they would clean up their ponds so that people could fish

    If they made these resources user-friendly and available to the people—which is something you have to do as a national government—it would make a difference.

  6. Empower women and girls.

    In 1997, The Hunger Project assessed all of our programs around the world as related to women.

    As a result, by 1998 we made the empowerment of women as key change agents in ending hunger – our top priority in all Hunger Project countries.

    Here are some of the highlights of our success in this:

    • We launched the AWFFI in 8 countries – to empower women farmers to be productive, economic players. To date, we have given 60,000 micro-credit loans totaling over $3 million. The repayment rate is 98%.
    • In our epicenters, affecting more than 2 million people, every village committee has an equal number of women and men in leadership positions. That’s what makes us believe that a new future is possible.
    • The Africa Prize for Leadership—known as the Nobel Prize for Africa—has consistently recognized women’s leadership on the Continent. In 2003, this prize honored emerging women’s leadership in Africa.
    • In 1999, there were no female staff and very few women animators in Bangladesh. Today, half of our staff are women, and nearly 50% of our animators are women.
    • Given that today’s girls are tomorrow’s women, we created the National Girl Child Day to transform the status of the girl child in Bangladeshi society.
    • We created the Sarojini Naidu Prize for Best Reporting on Women and Panchyati Raj to acknowledge, honor, and make known the media’s growing and critical role in creating a more supportive political climate, empowering women’s leadership and strengthening the institution of Panchayati Raj.
    • Throughout Latin America, The Hunger Project has focused on rural indigenous communities—where hunger and poverty are most concentrated—and, where women bear the greatest burden for their family’s well-being.
    • In August of 2004, in Mexico City, The Hunger Project held its first-ever Latin America strategy conference entitled—Ending Hunger: Empowering Indigenous Women. The leaders from our programs in Bolivia, Mexico, and Peru came together with 50 senior representatives for government and civil society in Mexico.

    This is just a taste of The Hunger Project’s commitment to gender. You can be assured that the gender dimension of ending hunger is powerfully mainstreamed throughout all our work.

  7. Strengthen agricultural and nutrition research.

    We link hungry people to appropriate, affordable technology they can use to transform the quality of their lives.

    • In our epicenters, The Hunger Project establishes community gardens where farmers are introduced to new crops, new tools and new techniques.
    • We train people how to make fertilizer from compost.
    • In Ghana, I’ve watched as women spent hours a day, pressing oil from individual nuts by banging them between rocks. The epicenter purchased a simple oil press that saves hundreds of woman-hours every week.
    • In Mexico, we’ve trained people to build low-cost green houses, enabling them to grow high-value vegetables and flowers.
  8. Remove internal and regional barriers to agricultural trade

    Again, this is an area that can only be fully addressed through government action. The Hunger Task Force rightfully calls upon governments to eliminate these barriers.

    This is something that The Hunger Project is not focused on, but here is an example of how the empowerment of an individual – in this case a woman – has translated into the removal of trade barriers.

    One of our elected women representatives succeeded in getting a grant for over $18 million from her state government to build proper roads in her district – the building of roads is a critical step in removing trade barriers.

  9. Increase the effectiveness of donor agencies’ hunger-related programming.

    This is an area that can only be handled internationally among governments. The donor agencies need to coordinate their aid in a unified strategy.

    The Hunger Project encourages people to work together, and while we are not directly involved in this, we do have some isolated incidences. Let me share one with you.

    • After seeing our work in Karnataka, India, the World Bank, the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, and several other groups pooled funds that they gave to our NGO partners to use to replicate our strategy.
  10. Create vibrant partnerships to ensure effective policy implementation.

    Partnership and inclusion is the name of our game.

    The Hunger Project is known around the world for creating an environment in which people from all sectors of society can come together to address the issues most important to their wellbeing. Here are some examples:

    • In 1990, The Hunger Project launched SPIA in India and co-sponsored a strategy meeting with the Planning Commission of India—the prestigious Indian body that advises the Prime Minister and creates the country’s 5 year plans. This was the 1st collaboration of its kind in India and was attended by top people from key sectors of society—government, NGO’s, business, and academia. MS Swaminathan, Ramkrishna Bajaj.
    • In 1991, SPIA was launched in Senegal. President Diouf and his government hosted a 100 person, 2 day, launching conference in the capital city of Dakar. And, this conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
    • In 1995, we met with 5 women Laureates from W. Africa to design the AWFFI. In 2001, we met with Dr. Kazibwe and Laureates from Eastern and Southern Africa to launch AWFFI in those regions.
    • And, in 2002, in Uganda– in partnership with representatives from 7 African countries – experts in the fields of HIV/AIDS, Family Planning, Public Health, Education, Women’s Issues, Gender, Agriculture, Social Development, Governance and Media — we co-created the HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop—a workshop designed to be led by people at the grassroots level. To our knowledge, this is the only workshop designed for grassroots people to take on gender relations.
  11. Move government resources and decision-making closer to the local people through decentralized democracy.

    As we mentioned – this was not in the report, but we advocate for it – strengthen it – and demonstrate it’s effectiveness everywhere we work.

    • Through our leadership workshop, panchayat women are gaining voice and learning skills to effectively demand government resources that their communities need to lead healthy and productive lives. These are issues that are often ignored by men and range from health and sanitation to campaigns against alcoholism and domestic violence.
    • The Hunger Project in India is one of the 2 NGOs that was invited to sit on the national government panel which is committed to strengthening local democracy and moving government resources closer to the people.
    • In Bangladesh, the name of the game is to strengthen local democracy, and we are working with over 300 local village councils to make this happen.

Emerging possibilities for national influence

It’s important, also, to add that – with the high profile success of our programs – our country teams are discovering new opportunities to make their voices heard in policy circles.

As we speak here today, the government of Malawi is meeting with our country director. The government sought him out for his advice on their new microcredit program.

Our newly decentralized strategy in Mexico is built on strong access to state governors, state ministers, and the heads of local government.

Our partner in Bolivia is a respected arbitrator in the intensely polarized national politics of the country.

Badiul Majumdar has become one of the most national recognized policy voices in Bangladesh. He is currently working with one of the prestigious rural development organizations in Bangladesh to organize a high level conference on local governance.

Our India team was invited by the central government to organize a meeting for all the state ministers of local government on capacity building of panchayats.

And, the work of The Hunger Project is covered by the media – newspapers, television, radio – in all our program countries. Badiul writes articles for Bangladesh’s leading newspapers almost every day.

The New Era: The End of Hunger

Now that we can see the ways that the world community is and is not able to deal with gender and empowerment in relation to ending hunger, let’s be clear on what The Hunger Project means by hunger.

The hunger I speak of is not just about calories in the body. It’s a hunger for self-reliance, for dignity, to be the author of one’s own life.

It’s the hunger for women to be full citizens. To make choices about how they live their lives. To have a voice in their own fate and the fate of their community. To have the opportunity to choose if and when to work, to marry, to be pregnant, to have a vision and pursue it.

For the Hunger Project, the end of hunger is about social justice. We really intend that people are the authors of their own development. That women are known as human beings.

It is the social conditions that keep these people subjugated that we—this global movement called The Hunger Project—have the commitment to change.

And it is The Hunger Project that has the programs designed to do it.

Footnotes and background information

[1] High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change was convened by the UN Secretary-General in October 2003. The Panel is like the Millennium Project in that it addresses the security agenda set out by the Millennium Declaration, as opposed to the development agenda.

Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand, chairs the Panel of eminent members from around the world. The Panel was created to assess current threats to international peace and security, evaluate how existing policies and institutions have addressed those threats, and make recommendations for strengthening the United Nations so that it can provide collective security for all in the twenty-first century.

Its report, released on December 2, 2004 included strong support for the MDGs as well as a call for increased development assistance.

[2] Individual national minimum daily calorie intake requirements:

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization calculates a slightly different minimum daily caloric intake for each country calculated for the total population based on the number of calories needed by different age and gender groups and the proportion of the population each group represents.

“The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has set the minimum requirement for caloric intake per person per day at 2350.”

Quoted from a speech by Stephen M. Apatow, President and Founder of Humanitarian Resource Institute, titled “The Golden Rule Principle” delivered on June 4, 2001

[3] “Napoleon’s Bittersweet Legacy,” The New York Times, August 11, 2003

[4] “America’s Sugar Daddies,” The New York Times, November 29, 2003

[5] Blair Commission on Africa: Prime Minister Tony Blair launched the Commission for Africa in February 2004. The aim of the Commission is to produce a report with recommendations on how to make the Millennium Development Goals work in Africa. There are 17 Commissioners, nine of whom are from Africa.

It has been set up to generate action for a strong and prosperous Africa using the 2005 British presidencies of the G8 and the European Union as a platform.

[6] FAO, SOFI 2004


[8] FAO, SOFI 2004

[9] FAO, SOFI 2004

[10] FAO SOFI 2004, page 7


[12] Africa Statistical Analysis: While the proportion of undernourished people in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to fall to 22% by 2015, the absolute number of hungry people is expected to increase to 205 million(UNECA,the State of Food Security in Africa Progress Report* 2003).


[14] UNECA, the State of Food Security in Africa Progress Report* 2003

[15] “Lack of Equal Rights for African Women is a Central Cause of the Rapid Transmission of HIV/AIDS on the Continent,” press release, UNIFEM, May 13, 2003

[16] 2004 UNDP HDR

[17] PRB 1996

[18] PRB 1996

[19] 2004 UNDP HDR

[20] General Assembly plenary meeting,

[21] FAO, SOFI 2004

[22] Ibid

[23] Ibid

[24] Ibid

[25] Ibid

[26] FAO, SOFI 2004

[27] Sylwander L and Simalenga T (eds), 1997. Gender issues in animal traction: a handbook. Guidelines for programmes derived from a workshop held 1-5 June 1992, Mbeya, Tanzania. Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA), Harare, Zimbabwe. 87p.

[28] Mallaby, Sebastian. The World’s Banker. Penguin Press. New York: 2004 pp. 330-331