, ROME, Nov 12 – On the eve of next week’s World Summit on Food Security, FAO on Wednesday called for a day-long, worldwide hunger strike against chronic hunger.
“We are suggesting that everyone in the world who wants to show solidarity with the one hungry billion people on this planet go on hunger strike next Saturday or Sunday,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf told a press conference.
“I shall personally begin a 24-hour fast on Saturday morning,” he added.
According to FAO statistics 1.02 billion people live in chronic hunger. The World Summit on Food Security (16-18 November 2009) has been called to agree on immediate action to reverse the situation and build momentum to end the scourge of hunger and malnutrition.
Heads of State and Government from FAO’s 192 Members have been invited to attend and Diouf told the Press Conference that he hoped there would be as many participants as at the last FAO Summit in 2002.
“Despite all the promises made, concrete action on hunger has been lacking,” Diouf declared, adding, “In the absence of strong measures another global food crisis cannot be excluded.”
Diouf also launched an online anti-hunger petition on http://www.1billionhungry.org/ . Visitors to the website are asked to sign the petition if they agree that one billion people living in chronic hunger is unacceptable. Everyone is encouraged to use Twitter or other social media tools to spread the word about the initiative.
“I would urge as many people as possible to sign our petition,” he said. “Each click will serve as another reason, in addition to the billion we already have, for ending hunger. Each click will also serve as a goad to world leaders to ‘walk the talk’.”