“determined to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action for the purpose of raising levels of nutrition and standards of living”
Preamble of the FAO Constitution
The current financial crisis joins those of food and fuel to challenge the world economy. The three crises are inter-related and impact each other. Paying hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue the world’s financial industry looks likely to cut both humanitarian aid and development spending. The price of oil has dropped but is still high and is a drain on the funds of developing countries.
Foreign development issues may be the first victims of the financial crisis as government officials focus on domestic issues, especially if there is the predicted slowdown in the economy and a rise in unemployment in North America and Europe.
At a recent funding meeting in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Antonio Guterres recognized that the financial crisis would raise challenges for those who have traditionally financed UNHCR programs. “At the same time, I must point out that the resources required to support the 31 million people we care for are very modest indeed when compared to the sums being spent to bring stability to the international financial system. It would be tragic if the funds available to the humanitarian community were to decline at the very time when demands upon us are increasingly so dramatically.”
Yet the decline in governmental aid to the developing world is probably inevitable. Thus an emphasis must be placed on creating a world food policy which draws upon improving local self-reliance while not creating nationalistic policies which harm neighbours. Food is a key aspect of deep structural issues in the world society and thus must be seen in a wholistic framework.
Jean Ping, the chairman of the African Union Commission noted recently that “The sharp increase in basic food prices has had a particularly negative effect on African countries. In the medium and long term, the Commission proposes measures to regulate speculation, the sharing of public cereal stocks, strengthening the financing of imports and reliable food aid, promoting investment in social protection and increased investment to boost agricultural production.” The African Union has 53 state-members with some 750 million people, over half of which are in what is now called “the bottom billion” — people living on $1.25 a day or less. While there is something artificial in poverty lines based on buying-power, such poverty statistics give an indication of the challenges faced.
While constant improvements in technology, mechanization, plant breeding and farm chemicals have steadily increased food production per acre in much of the world, African food production per acre has stagnated, and in some areas has gone down. Likewise, the portion of development assistance in Africa dedicated to agriculture has declined from 15 per cent in the 1980s to 4 per cent in 2006.
Thus the first need in Africa is to develop the local economies: Currently, poverty, lack of adapted technology, population pressure on ecologically fragile areas, a growth of urban slums due to rapid rural to urban migration is the lot of many Sub-Saharan African countries.
Increased action to improve rural life needs to be taken quickly. As the recent UN-sponsored Millennium Ecosystem Assessment notes “Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystem to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted. It is becoming ever more apparent that human society has a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to alter its path.”
World Food Day needs to be marked by a sharper analysis of the causes of rural stagnation and a renewed dedication to cooperative action.
Rene Wadlow, Representative to the UN, Geneva, Association of World Citizens
What a poetic sound your name has. I can not place it to any Latin or Greek name that may be the roots to it. How did you get to this magical name?
I have read 1/3 of what you present in the digital world and see that you are very happy with who you are today and that you wear your heart well :> I find you a comfortable person by first impression.
How did you spend your weekend? I was with a very large LGBT family in S.F. and walked and talked very peacefully and enjoyed a cup of latte in a very LGBT popular place and perfect weather. I saw so many of my family members that need a lot of healing.
Thanks for the friendship invite. Actually, I was quite surprised since, for some (strange?) reason, I was certain that we were already friends.... ;-)
Must be because I have seen you quite often while browsing and each time something in me felt close and nodded in synchronicity :-)
Well, I am honoured to share the vib with you dear friend and will be browsing your pages quite often, for sure.
To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.
The Origin Of Suffering Is Attachment
The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.
Thanks for stopping by. I really love the orbs above me. I have many orb images on my blog Twilight Vision. I plan to take more images once the wheather breaks here I am excitd to look at what I may find.