a hungry man is not a free man

“The eradication of hunger is not just an end in itself: It is a first step toward sustainable development and progress in general, for a hungry man is not a free man. He cannot focus on anything else but securing his next meal.” — Kofi Annan

We need to understand that food security is a critical factor in global security. People who are hungry and living under the dark shadow of starvation are easily manipulated by those promising a better life. An empty stomach is never a good political advisor.

In 2001 the FAO defined food security like this: “Food security is a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Food security means not having to fear for one’s next meal. It means being set free from the chains of hunger and, just as importantly, being set free from the fear that accompanies hunger. And as Kofi Annan so powerfully writes, food security and the eradication of hunger are the first steps toward creating a world of truly sustainable development.  Working together we can create that world.