跨黨派合作 美國前參議員獲世界糧食獎 | 環境資訊中心

跨黨派合作 美國前參議員獲世界糧食獎

2008年06月18日
摘譯自2008年6月13日ENS美國,愛荷華州,第蒙報導;陳維婷編譯;蔡麗伶、合引審校

位於多明尼加的學童受到「全球教育糧食發起計畫」的支持。圖片來源:USDA美國前參議員杜爾(Robert Dole)與麥高文(George McGovern)榮獲2008年世界糧食獎(World Food Prize),他們將獲頒總額25萬美元的獎金,以表揚兩人成立的國際學童營養計畫,以及對糧食安全的終生貢獻。世界糧食獎13日的頒獎聲明中指出,「在兩位參議員努力不懈又充滿創意的領導下,饑餓與貧窮的惡性循環得到了莫大的改善,共有3億名長期營養不良的兒童受惠 。」

兩位參議員推動的「麥高文-杜爾國際學童營養計畫」受到了肯定,這項計畫在2000年首度由美國發起,迄今已為41個國家、超過2千2百萬名兒童提供餐點,並且幫助學校出席率提高14%,其中女童的求學比例更因此提昇17%。

代表南達科塔州的麥高文隸屬民主黨,杜爾則是共和黨的堪薩斯州參議員,任內均不遺餘力幫助削減饑餓。兩人從70年代起攜手合作,帶領兩黨共同改革美國糧食券(Food Stamp)制度,擴大學校營養午餐計畫,還設立婦幼特別糧食補助(WIC),並幫助凝聚了救饑扶貧的跨黨派共識。在本世紀初期,他們打造的學校營養午餐計畫共讓國內3千萬兒童得以飽餐。

90年代末期,兩位參議員開始著手振興、加強全球學童的營養與教育,創設計畫幫助非洲、亞洲、南美與東歐的學校提供餐點給貧窮兒童。他們的提案獲得克林頓總統支持,政府在2000年撥款3億美元,先成立為期兩年的「全球教育糧食發起計畫 」(GFEI) 。

透過GFEI,美國農業部門將過剩的農作物供應給各大國際組織的學童餐點計畫,以及承諾會提供普及教育的國家政府。在兩位參議員大力奔走下,國會在2002年立法成立永久的國際學童營養計畫。

他們發現,一旦兒童得到充足的飲食,不只認知能力進步,整體課業表現也更優秀。隨之提昇的還有當地的就業率、父母參與學校活動的程度、以及當地政府對學校營養行動的支持。相反地,饑餓的幼童會出現學習障礙,營養不良經常導致永久性的生理與認知發展遲緩。受到麥高文與杜爾的號召,學童營養計畫已廣泛獲得各國政府與國際間高度認可支持。

因為受到「全球教育糧食發起計畫」的支持,孟加拉的女孩可以有機會接受教育。圖片來源:USDA麥高文-杜爾計畫更著重在幫助女童與少女,希望弭平兩性在識字率及受教權上的不平等現象。過去許多發展中國家的女孩被迫放棄學業在家照顧老小、操持家務、甚至外出打工貼補家用,但是在學校開始供應餐點之後,年輕女性被准許或鼓勵求學的情形便大幅改善。

麥高文-杜爾計畫至今已慷慨供應各國數千噸的小麥、大豆、玉米、麵粉、米、豆類及植物油,讓當地官員利用這些資源提供學童餐點及零食。該計畫未來將進一步增加現金資助,並且設立新的作物互換制度,以提供更多元豐富的糧食餐點種類。

Robert Dole, George McGovern Awarded 2008 World Food Prize
DES MOINES, Iowa, June 13, 2008 (ENS)

For their international school feeding program and lifelong devotion to food security, former U.S. Senators Robert Dole and George McGovern have been selected to receive the prestigious $250,000 World Food Prize for 2008. Announcing the award in a statement today, the World Food Prize said, "By exerting tireless and creative leadership, Senators McGovern and Dole took significant steps toward ending the cycle of hunger and poverty that affects as many as 300 million chronically malnourished children."

The senators are being honored for the McGovern-Dole international school-feeding program, first established by the United States in 2000. Since then, it has provided meals to feed more than 22 million children in 41 countries and boosted school attendance by an estimated 14 percent overall and by 17 percent for girls.

Throughout their careers, Senator McGovern, a South Dakota Democrat, and Senator Dole, a Kansas Republican, have dedicated themselves to the elimination of hunger. In the 1970s, as leaders of opposing parties, they worked together to reform the federal Food Stamp Program, expand the domestic school lunch program, and establish the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC. They built a non-partisan consensus for anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. By the early 21st century, the national school lunch program they fostered was providing meals to 30 million children.

In the late 1990s, McGovern and Dole began working toward reviving and strengthening global school feeding, nutrition, and education programs. They created a program that would provide poor children with meals at school in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. President Bill Clinton supported the senators’ initiative and, in July 2000, his administration established a two-year pilot program, the Global Food for Education Initiative, GFEI, funded at $300 million.

Under the GFEI, the agricultural agency provided surplus commodities to school-feeding programs operated by international organizations, as well as to the governments of countries that had made commitments to provide universal education. With the support and urging of the two former senators, In 2002 Congress passed legislation establishing a permanent international school feeding program.

When children are eating enough, they display improved cognition and better all-round academic performance; there are increases in local employment and parental involvement in school activities; and participation by local governments in supporting school-feeding efforts, the senators recognize. On the other hand, hungry children have difficulty learning, and malnutrition often leads to permanently stunted physical and cognitive development. Inspired by McGovern and Dole, school feeding programs have gained recognition and support at the highest levels of national and international governance.

The McGovern-Dole Program emphasizes benefiting girls and young women and overcoming gender inequalities in literacy and access to education. Traditionally, young girls in many developing countries are often kept out of school to work in the home performing child care, elder care, and other domestic chores, or are sent out to earn a living. But when meals are available at school, girls and young women are much more likely to be allowed or encouraged to enroll.

Thousands of tons of wheat, soybeans, corn, wheat flour, cornmeal, corn-soy blend, rice, lentils, dry beans and vegetable oil have been shipped to participant countries through the auspices of the McGovern-Dole Program. These resources are used by local officials to provide school meals and snacks to children. Looking to the future, the McGovern-Dole Program is moving toward increasing the amount of cash awarded while also implementing a new bartering system to diversify the commodities and foodstuffs that the program provides.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS