World leaders sign Zero Hunger Declaration at Davos

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The WFP puts hunger in the spotlight at the World Economic Forum

COMMITMENT TO ACTION. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and over 50 others sign the Zero Hunger Challenge Declaration at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Photo by The WFP

MANILA, Philippines – Over 50 world leaders and signatories commit to eliminating hunger within this generation during the signing of the Zero Hunger Declaration at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 23, 2014. 

As hunger continues to be one of the world’s most pressing issues, the declaration strengthens the commitment on the fight against hunger, pushes for the creation of policies and action, holds people accountable to their actions, and encourages others to take part in the Zero Hunger Challenge. 

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, one of the signatories, has placed hunger in the forefront of the UN’s agenda since he first pitched the Zero Hunger Challenge initiative during the UN conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil last June 2012. 

During the signing, he reiterated his commitment to action in eradicating hunger and recognized the important roles that different sectors play, saying that the fight against hunger has been a joint effort. 

“From small-scale farmers who trade their surplus at the village market to billion-dollar multinational corporations, business has played a vital role. This is needed now more than ever,” said Ban.

The declaration was signed during the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Annual World Leader’s event and awards dinner that was co-hosted by WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General David Nabarro.

ZERO HUNGER. Ban Ki-moon invites world leaders, governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals to sign the Zero Hunger Declaration. Screen grab from

Cousin stated that the fight against hunger was a moral imperative that could not be ignored.

“It’s not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do. Global stability, economic growth and human development will only be achieved when we secure food and nutrition for everyone around the world,” declared Cousin.

Other notable signatories include UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, USAID administrator Rajiv Shah, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma.

Meanwhile, three individuals whose contributions and commitment to the fight against hunger were also recognized during the event and awarded with the WFP Hunger Hero Award.

The 3 hunger heroes are Sam Dryden, Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Marc Van Ameringen, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 

According to the 2013 report on the State of Food Security Around the World by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger around the world. That is around 1 in every 8 persons.

The majority of world’s hungry (about 98%) live in developing countries.

Here in the Philippines, 16.2% of the population or around 15.6 million peopler are hungy.

The Zero Hunger Challenge aims to address these alarming figures. It sets a vision of eradicating hunger in our lifetimes; a world where food systems are sustainable and everyone has access to adequate and nutritious food. –

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