Spain donates EUR 500m to combat food crisis
Spain is the first country to offer a substantial sum to counter rising food prices at the three-day conference in Rome.4 June 2008
MADRID - Spain will contribute EUR 500 million over the next four years to help improve food security worldwide, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced Tuesday as world leaders gathered in Rome to discuss ways to counter rising food prices that have triggered riots in dozens of countries and could cause hundreds of millions of people to starve.
The gesture by Spain, which also offered to host the next meeting of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), is just a drop in the ocean of aid money that UN officials say will be needed to feed the 850 million people going hungry in the world today and to prevent others joining them as food prices rise.
Spain, as the first country to offer a substantial sum at the start of the three-day conference, is nonetheless hoping that other industrialised nations will follow its lead.
"We have to intervene with real money to help development. It is unthinkable that in the current food crisis, there are OECD countries that are reducing their aid and the money they give to the neediest nations," Zapatero told 100 other heads of state and government at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
[El Pais / Expatica]