Why the International Alliance was created
Eliminating hunger and malnutrition certainly stands as the primary goal of our times, especially considering that almost half of the world’s population lives in poverty and one out of six faces a daily battle of finding enough food to eat. Governments certainly have a lead role in any efforts to improve the lives of these people, but governments cannot solve problems alone. There must be coordinated action that pulls together a global partnership of institutions, organizations and individuals in order to unite their energy and ideas into a common effort.
The Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition, established with exactly this goal in mind, provides both international and national expertise to fight hunger and malnutrition. The Advisory Group, comprising representatives of UN and international organizations, and the Secretariat offer support to country-led alliances in both developed and developing countries, aimed at promoting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially the first and foremost goal of reducing extreme poverty and hunger.
The Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition Story
The idea of an international alliance was proposed by Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany on World Food Day in 2001. He urged the formation of an alliance to counter the faltering political will that prevented nations from allocating adequate resources to fight hunger and poverty. Enthusiasm for the initiative grew, culminating in 2002, when participants at the World Food Summit: five years later entitled their final declaration “The International Alliance Against Hunger”. The declaration recognized “the urgent need to reinforce efforts of all concerned partners as an international alliance against hunger, for the fulfilment of the objectives of the 1996 Summit.”
Building from this global consensus, the International Alliance Against Hunger was founded in 2003 by the three Rome-based food agencies, and Bioversity International each with a unique area of expertise to contribute to the Alliance:
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
- United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- Bioversity International.
The agencies established and funded a Working Group and Secretariat to support to the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition in its efforts to focus attention on the need for increased political will that would be capable of translating national and global commitment into action to end hunger and malnutrition.
Although the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition was first proposed in 2001, it can actually trace its beginning to the first World Food Summit: five years later hosted by FAO in 1996 which was held to focus world attention on the need for concerted global effort to overcome hunger and poverty.
World Food Summit issues the “Rome Declaration”, calls for halving the number of hungry people by 2015.
United Nations Millennium Summit reaffirms the Rome Declaration by making the halving of hunger and poverty its primary Millennium Development Goal.
Germany’s President calls for an Alliance Against Hunger.
World Food Summit: five years later issues “The International Alliance Against Hunger” declaration, calling for a global partnership to work together against hunger.
World Food Day, Rome-based agencies announce activation of International Alliance Against Hunger.
First National Alliance Against Hunger Forum held during meeting of the Committee on World Food Security.
Launch of initial twinning efforts among National Alliances.
National Alliance Against Hunger Forum held during meeting of Committee on World Food Security.
National Alliances develop a common Resource Mobilization Strategy
Rome-based agencies reinforce their commitment towards the work of the International Alliance Against Hunger by signing a Joint Statement
International Alliance Against Hunger Alliance Secretariat brings together high-level experts to a Side Event to advocate for enhanced accountability during World Food Week.
“The Way Forward”, the first global consultation of the Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition, brings representatives of National Alliances to FAO Headquarters, Rome for three-day facilitated workshop.