每年的10月16日是世界糧食日，天主教宗本篤十六世、盧安達總統卡加梅(Paul Kagame)以及聯合國糧農組織(FAO)的主席迪歐夫(Jacques Diouf)共同呼籲團結一致，採取行動對抗飢餓，在有飢荒人口的國家內增加糧食生產。
全世界最大的食物援助組織聯合國世界糧食計畫署(UN's World Food Programme)執行主任希蘭(Josette Sheeran)說，「我真的相信，現在是時候實現我們的夢想，讓世界上不再有人挨餓。」
世界糧食獎國際討論會，又稱為博洛格論壇(Borlaug Dialogue)，是由諾貝爾經濟獎得主博洛格博士(Norman Borlaug)所創辦與贊助，聚集了世界上最重要的農業、糧食與發展領袖。在9月份，將博洛格獎章(Norman E. Borlaug Medallion)頒給了聯合國前秘書長安南(Kofi Annan)，以表彰他對改善糧食安全上的承諾。
Chronic hunger grips one in every seven people alive today. Every six seconds, a child dies from hunger-related causes and more than 200 million children suffer from undernutrition, according to the latest United Nations figures.
On the occasion of this year's World Food Day, which falls every year on October 16, Pope Benedict XVI, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame and Jacques Diouf, director-general of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization called for global unity to take resolute and concrete actions against hunger by producing more food in the countries where hungry people live.
This year's theme, United Against Hunger, seeks to rally all sectors of society to feed the world's more than one billion hungry people. "Achieving food security is not the responsibility of one single party; it is the responsibility of all of us," Dr. Diouf said.
Dr. Diouf launched an online petition to reflect the moral outrage of the situation. The "1 billion hungry project" reaches out to people through social media, inviting everyone to sign the anti-hunger petition at www.1billionhungry.org. To date, 1,612,027 people have signed the petition.
In a statement to the World Food Day ceremony in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said, "Everyone - from individuals to the organizations of civil society, states and international institutions - needs to give priority to one of the most urgent goals for the human family: freedom from hunger."
"An important step forward was the international community's recent decision to protect the right to water which, as the FAO has always maintained, is essential to human nutrition, to rural activities and to the conservation of nature," the Pope said.
President Kagame said, "Becoming self-sufficient in food production cannot be separated from good governance. In most developing countries, it remains the responsibility of government to create the right climate for farmers, especially smallholder farmers and allied agro-businesses. Ultimately, sustainable food security will be obtained within the overall framework of poverty eradication."
Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development said, "Let us look at things from the angle of opportunities. People bemoan the fact that in Africa only six percent of land is irrigated or that the average level of fertilizer used in Africa is only one tenth of the world average."
Josette Sheeran, executive director of the world's largest food aid agency, the UN's World Food Programme, said, "I truly believe now is the time for us to turn our dreams of a world free of hunger into reality."
In his speech on Thursday at the World Food Prize annual international symposium just ahead of World Food Day, Annan said, "Africa is the only continent which does not grow enough food to feed itself. It alone has failed, in recent decades, to see agricultural productivity keep pace with its growing population."
The World Food Prize international symposium, informally known as the Borlaug Dialogue after Nobel Laureate and World Food Prize Founder Dr. Norman Borlaug, brings together the world's foremost leaders in global agriculture, food, and development. In September, Annan was awarded the Norman E. Borlaug Medallion by the World Food Prize Foundation in recognition of his commitment to improving food security.
"We cannot forget that, the women who produce most of Africa's food are particularly disadvantaged economically and socially," Annan said. "We need practical measures from field to market to remove these obstacles so they have a voice and a stake right through the value chain."
Annan sees hope in the current climate of world opinion. "Never before has there been such a collective drive for change," he said. "This encompasses civil society organizations, philanthropic foundations and multinational corporations. Food and nutrition security now sits firmly and rightly at the top of the development agenda."
There are still plenty of problems to be overcome. After her three-day visit to Niger, where half the population is in need of food assistance, the United Nations' new top humanitarian official warned that the world must tackle the root causes of cyclical food crises in Africa's Sahel region.
"Malnutrition is not due only to a lack of food, but it is also linked to disease, lack of clean water, lack of information," said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on World Food Day.
She also sounded a warning on Niger's population growth. While the country's population currently stands at 15 million, it is predicted to reach 50 million by 2050.
Calling for better family planning, Amos said such a surge is "unsustainable" given Niger's current and projected food production capacity.
And the rich countries are responding to calls for help to feed the hungry.
At the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in September, world leaders devoted special attention to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, including $22 billion in investments committed last year by the G-8 and G-20 industrialized countries, and noted a growing recognition among leaders of developing countries about the need to invest in food security.
The Millennium Development Goals Summit served as the backdrop for the United States and Ireland to jumpstart the UN's Scaling Up Nutrition framework, a strategy endorsed by 100 international partners to battle undernutrition.
Rice explained, "One plank of this framework, "1,000 Days: Change a Life, Change the Future," is a joint commitment by developing countries, multilateral organizations, donor governments, civil society and the private sector to set concrete benchmarks that accelerate progress toward improving maternal and child nutrition from pregnancy through age two."
"Combating hunger's root causes serves America's interests by serving the interests of all people," said Rice. "This movement promises improvement in global standards of living, delivering higher returns for its investments; promotes broad-based economic growth; and reinforces our common security by investing in our common humanity."