Davos 09 was an opportunity for WFP to make sure leaders keep hunger on the agenda as they discuss the global financial crisis. To see the key hunger-related news and views that emerged during the meeting, look back over the reports filed by our team during the event.
Margaret Catley-Carlson, is the Chairperson of the Global Water Partnership, a working partnership among all those involved in water management formed in 1996 by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
She is also chair of the WEF's Global Agenda Council on Water. She spoke to www.wfp.org following a WEF event in the WFP Tent. It was a brainstorming session on the Global Agenda for Environment.
Simon Zadek spoke with www.wfp.org just before joining a Brainstorming session on the Global Agenda for the Environment, in the WFP Tent.
Dr Simon Zadek is Chief Executive of AccountAbility, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Government and Business of Harvard University's Kennedy School, and an Honorary Professor at the University of South Africa's Centre for Corporate Citizenship.
Sir John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA).
Sir John Holmes spoke with www.wfp.org following a Breakfast Session on Public-Private Partnerships for Humanitarian Action. The session discussed the importance of "Logistics Emergency Teams", partnerships between humanitarian organizations -- key among them WFP-- and major logistics companies like TNT and UPS, that offer technical support, training and equipment to humanitarians in an emergency. In 2008, for example, logistics companies offered concrete assistance -- aircraft, equipment and personnel -- to humanitarian agencies working to reach victims of the cyclone in Myanmar and the hurricanes in Haiti.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was interviewed in the WFP Tent at Davos following the screening of the documentary film "Pray The Devil Back To Hell", about a group of women whose prayer vigils and silent demonstrations helped spark a grass-roots peace movement that helped end years of war in Liberia.
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (1984) who chaired the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission following the end of the Apartheid era in South Africa. He is currently chairman of The Elders, a group of global elders including Nelson Mandela and former US President Jimmy Carter, working to help find peaceful solutions to global conflicts.
[At the WFP Tent the cleric was surrounded by well-wishers and photographers. Some flash photography can be seen in the clip on www.wfp.org]
The Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger started the day off in the WFP tent with a 'roll-up-your-sleeves' session on "Business Strategies for Sustainable Food Production." Moderated by Josette Sheeran and General Mills CEO, Ken Powell, the session included a lineup of top global leaders such as former UN Secretary and Founder of AGRA, Kofi Annan, Prime Minister of Kenya Railia Amolo Odinga, H.R.H. the Duke of York, Bill Gates and over 25 CEOs.
After laying the foundation about the need for corporations to fully engage in public private partnerships, the participants spent time in small groups brainstorming practical ideas – across multiple sectors such as telecom, nutrition, retailing, logistics – sustainable solutions to help the developing world.
WFP hosted a working lunch with senior executives of WFP's corporate partners, to update them on WFP's strategic plan and challenges ahead discuss ways to further strengthen the partnership alignment with WFP’s core work.
The day's biggest event was a plenary session titled "Fresh Solutions for Food Security," chaired by WFP's Executive Director Josette Sheeran, with panelists Kofi Annan; Bill Gates; Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods USA; Michael Treschow, Chairman of Unilever; and Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand. The initial dialogue focused heavily on ways to effectively address sustainable agriculture and called on the panelists and audience to bring fresh solutions to the table. Audience participation was overwhelming with many ideas such as roof gardens, on-farm grain storage and multiple finance solutions. View webcast
Later, a reception was held by Deworm the World, an initiative supported by the WEF's Young Global Leaders Group. WFP announced a commitment to scale up de-worming activities to include all its school feeding programmes, where parasitic worms are as serious problem for child health and development.
In the evening, Ms Sheeran attended a dinner of 100 high-powered women, hosted by HM Queen Rania of Jordan, Wendi Murdoch (the wife of News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch) and Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, to promote progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
Simon Maxwell, Director of the Overseas Development Institute in the UK, predicts that the number of malnourished people in the world will go up as a result of the global financial crisis. He goes on to explain what he thinks Developing Countries should do to start making headway in the fight against hunger.
There are 100 million more people in the world who are hungry this year than there were last time the World Economic Forum held its Davos meeting. But Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development for the United Kingdom, said he found among leaders at Davos a "discernable sense" of the possibility of meeting the challenge.
At the end of Day 2 of Davos 09, Josette Sheeran and Peter Bakker, CEO of our Dutch donor TNT, co-hosted a dinner for about 50 government leaders and CEOs. The dinner honored King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as “Champion in the Battle Against Hunger” for 2008.
(Photos by Rein Skullerud, text by Emilia Casella)
At 17.15 on Friday, WFP's Executive Director Josette Sheeran will chair a high-profile plenary panel debate at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. The session is called "Fresh Solutions for Food Security."
Click on the link below to follow the event via webcast.
Panelists include Kofi Annan, Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009; Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation; Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft; Michael Treschow, chairman of Unilever; and Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Arthur C. Yap, the Philippines Agriculture Secretary, says it's easy to misread the impact of the global financial crisis on the food crisis. The deflationary effects of the financial crisis seem to be pushing commodity prices down, and that looks like good news. But it's not that simple, as Yap explains.
Mr. Yap spoke with www.wfp.org in the WFP tent in Davos immediately after a private meeting of the Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger.
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, often referred to simply as 'Davos' after the Swiss town where it is held, is attended by leaders from industry, government and civil society. It’s a forum where leaders can talk about the difficult challenges facing the world and discuss ways to address them.
Josette Sheeran: why WFP went to Davos