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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The UN Said: World Hunger Can End Sooner.

(Reuters) - The world could wipe out hunger in coming decades and make images of "children with swollen bellies a thing of history", the new head of the United Nations food aid agency said on Wednesday.

Josette Sheeran, former undersecretary for economic affairs at the U.S. State Department, took the helm this month at the World Food Programme, the world's biggest aid agency with a budget of $3 billion.

She told Reuters in an interview that the world now has a historic opportunity to stop starvation.

"I think we can, in our lifetime, win the battle against hunger because we now have the science, technology, know-how and the logistics to be able to meet hunger where it comes," she said. "Those pictures of children with swollen bellies will be a thing of history."

Progress in areas like seed technology, soils and irrigation means that "in almost every case we do have the scientific understanding, knowledge and ability if we could pull together the strategy and resources to do so", she said.

"Never before in history have all those things come together as a possibility."

However, U.N. data shows no significant reduction in the number of hungry since 1990. On the contrary, the number of hungry people in the world -- 854 million -- is on the rise.

"With climate change, with the challenges we are having with conflicts, we see more people needing emergency assistance," said Sheeran, whose first field trip as executive director will be to Ethiopia, Darfur, southern Sudan and Chad next week.


Sheeran's first trip outside her Rome HQ was to Brindisi, the Italian port where since 2000 the WFP global emergency response base has flown U.N. aid that of other agencies and charities to disaster spots like Afghanistan and Tsunami-hit Asia.

"This is the kind of example we want to show to the world. Donors can come together, the host government, all with one goal," she said before visiting warehouses stacked with crates stamped with logos like World Health Organisation or Irish Aid.

The third successive U.S. head of the WFP, her candidacy stirred controversy because of her links to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Until 1997 she edited the Washington Times, a conservative paper owned by Moon's church.

Sheeran said she was surprised this interested the media, saying: "I have no idea why it's come up, I have no idea why it's relevant. I am not a member of that church."

Sheeran hopes to raise the WFP's public profile and maintain its high level of efficiency. The agency says 93 cents in every dollar donated go directly to providing food or medical care.

"In our business, the humanitarian business, if you save cost, it's not for profits for your shareholders, you save lives," she said.

1 comment:

  1. The reason why it matters if she is still a Moon followers is that Moon's goal is for the world to be run by the religious under his influence. The fact that she flippantly pooh pooh's the question shows she is still a Moon like deceiver. She knows why people care, Moon has said that in his vision countries "like Japan and Germany" would not be able to buy or sell from other countries accept upon orders from central authority and Moon wants the religious under him to be that authority.

    Josette claims she is no longer involved in the Unification Church. That is easy for her to claim because Moon disbanded the UC in the mid 90s (the same time she claimed she was no longer a follower). This allows any Moon follower to claim they are not in or part of the UC. Though she claimed she is no longer tied to the UC, she hired as her senior adviser at the State Department a long time Moon follower.

    see that here:

    The odds that Josette Sheeran is not still doing Moon's bidding are 1 in a 1000. And no, this has nothing to with freedom of religion. Moon's organization is a political one, hell bent on...well, let's let James Whelan, the first editor of the Washington Times tell you..

    "They (the Moonies) are subverting our political system. They're doing it through front organizations--most of them disguised--and through their funding of independent organizations--through the placement of volunteers in the inner sanctums of hard-pressed organizations. In every instance--in every instance--those who attend their conferences, those who accept their money or their volunteers, delude themselves that there is no loss of virtue because the Moonies have not proselytized. That misses the central, crucial point: the Moonies are a political movement in religious clothing. Moon seeks power, not the salvation of souls. To achieve that, he needs religious fanatics as his palace guard and shock troops. But more importantly, he needs secular conscripts--seduced by money, free trips, free services, seemingly endless bounty and booty--in order to give him respectability and, with it, that image of influence which translates as power."


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