Dr Ghulam Ashraf's Blog

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Food Day praise for Brazil, China

Brazil and China have been praised, but India criticised, in a new report that evaluates the efforts of developing countries to tackle hunger.

ActionAid produced the set of rankings in a report released on Friday, designated World Food Day by the UN.

The report also judges the efforts of rich countries, saying Luxembourg is trying hardest to end global hunger. The US and New Zealand rank bottom. Studies estimate that one billion people are malnourished globally. That figure, given in studies by a number of think tanks and aid agencies, represents roughly one in seven of the world’s population. Smallholder farmers ActionAid’s rankings name names.

Among the developing countries, Brazil wins the top spot, with the aid agency praising President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s support for land reform and community kitchens for the poor. China is also praised for cutting the number of hungry by 58 million in 10 years through strong state support for smallholder farmers. But the report criticises economically liberal India where, it says, 30 million people have been added to the ranks of the hungry since the mid-1990s.

ActionAid judges rich countries too, praising those that have invested in agriculture in the developing world but criticising others that have promoted biofuels which, the report says, have displaced food crops.

The rankings are weighted to account for what ActionAid calls effort and progress, not just outcomes. That is how the winner in the rich country list is tiny Luxembourg, with all the Nordic countries close behind. New Zealand, however, is bottom of the rich country list, accused of making particularly harsh cuts in its official aid to agriculture.

And the US is second from last, described as “miserly” in its aid to developing world farmers.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8309979.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8306556.stm

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