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UN welcomes US President's call for $770 million to fight food crisis

UN welcomes US President's call for $770 million to fight food crisis

The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has thanked United States President George Bush “for his urgent call to action to combat the advance of hunger among the world’s most vulnerable,” after Mr. Bush asked the US Congress to provide an additional $770 million for food aid and development work.

Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of WFP, said yesterday that “urgent consideration by the US Congress will help prevent wide-scale human suffering due to soaring food prices.” She added that, “today, for those living on less than US$1 a day, the impact of soaring food prices is catastrophic.”

The President of the World Bank Group, which provides funding for development around the globe, also welcomed the announcement by Mr. Bush.

“These funds will help put food in the mouths of millions of people who are struggling to survive as prices rise,” Robert B. Zoellick said. “Importantly, US action goes beyond the critical short-term needs and aims to deal with the causes of the crisis so millions will not suffer again.”

Mr. Zoellick also welcomed the fact that the announcement came after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had assembled an international task force to tackle the global food crisis.

“By combining emergency support for the neediest, with support for agricultural production, and international action on trade, the US package takes us closer to the integrated international response needed to build sustainable solutions,” he said.