Washington DC – University students from across the United States will be rallying to focus on one of the biggest challenges of our time: They are joining forces with the World
Food Programme (WFP) at a vital moment, this week WFP has been raising the alarm about rising food prices and their devastating impact on millions of hungry poor.
«This is a critical time for students to be engaged in the fight against hunger – we are in a hunger crisis. The world’s most vulnerable are being hit hard,» said Josette Sheeran,
Executive Director of WFP.
«I look forward to addressing the young leaders with the Universities Fighting World Hunger, who are part of a new generation addressing this epic challenge,» she said.
Rising food prices, rooted in increased energy prices, competition between biofuels and food, rising demand from economic growth in countries such as China and India, and increasing climatic
shocks such as droughts and floods are affecting millions of people – hitting those living on the razor thin line of poverty hardest.
The Hunger Summit has annually showcased efforts by students in the Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH). Pairing students’ advocacy efforts with academic activities, the initiative was
started by WFP and Auburn University in 2003, and the coalition has grown to over 60 universities working to eliminate world hunger.
«Auburn University is privileged to have been selected in 2004 as WFP’s lead academic partner,» said Dean June Henton, of Auburn University. «This 3rd annual Summit is an
opportunity for universities across the country, who have joined with us, to become better informed and energized by this unique hunger partnership.»
This year’s conference, the first to be held in Washington, is hosted by the George Washington University.
«George Washington University is pleased to host this year’s Hunger Summit and help bring together some of the world’s foremost experts on health and hunger as we work to expand the
effort internationally,» said Jim Sherry, Director of the George Washington Center for Global Health.
Keynote speakers include Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP; Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts; Catherine Bertini, Senior Fellow at Gates Foundation and former head of WFP;
David Beckman, President of Bread for the World; Eva Clayton, former Congresswoman and former Assistant Director General of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization; and Fran Quigley, Director
of the AMPATH partnership between Indiana University and Moi University School in Medicine in Kenya.