Plan signs charter to end extreme hunger
Plan is proud to be a signatory on a ground-breaking charter that aims to make deadly food crises like the one gripping East Africa a thing of the past.
"Never Again: A Charter to End Extreme Hunger" was launched on Saturday as heads of state and other delegates at the United Nations General Assembly gathered to focus on the crisis in East Africa. The charter outlines five key actions that governments of rich and poor countries should take to stop widespread starvation as a result of drought, high food prices and conflict.
Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga, whose country is suffering the effects of the current crisis, became the first head of state to sign the document.
The charter is an initiative of major aid agencies - including Plan, Oxfam, Save the Children and ONE – who are asking for key commitments from world leaders to prevent future hunger disasters, while at the same time calling for the emergency response for East Africa to be properly funded and scaled up.
Dr. Sow, Plan International USA's Vice President for Institutional Programs, hailed the charter as: "An opportunity for the international community to cooperate in addressing critical issues contributing to hunger throughout the world. The charter is the first step toward preventing the kind of senseless suffering we are seeing among children and adults in East Africa today."
"While drought is inevitable, there can be no excuse for letting people die of starvation. We have a collective responsibility to do whatever we can to end this untold suffering, and this responsibility falls most heavily on the shoulders of the world leaders in New York this week (at the UN General Assembly). They need to show the millions of people affected by this terrible crisis that they will not be forgotten," said ONE's Africa Director, Dr. Sipho Moyo.
13 million people are currently affected by the drought in East Africa, and the UN estimates that 750,000 people in Somalia could be at risk of death in the next few months. Aid agencies and governments are working to provide urgently needed aid to the region, but the consensus is that today's crisis could have been avoided if the right steps had been taken early on.
"Never Again: A Charter to End Extreme Hunger" is calling for governments around the world to take action in 5 key areas:
- Fixing the flaws of the international emergency system;
- Supporting local food production;
- Ensuring services and protection for the poorest;
- Making available food everyone can afford; and
- Reducing armed violence and conflict.
Action taken by governments in these areas can drastically reduce the number of people at risk of life-threatening hunger. In East Africa, initiatives launched after previous hunger crises, that provide extra help to the most vulnerable so that they are able to cope when food is scarce, have been credited with saving thousands of lives in the current crisis.
Read "Never Again: A Charter to End Extreme Hunger."
Learn more about Plan's response to the drought in East Africa.