UN World Food Programme

Crusade against world hunger

In one of his final television interviews as WFP Executive Director, James Morris called for a global crusade to rid the world of child hunger.

In one of his final television interviews as WFP Executive Director, James Morris called for a global crusade to rid the world of child hunger.

There is nothing mroe important to a country than seeing that its children are well-fed.

James Morris, former WFP Executive Director, speaking to CNN

Drawing on his experience of five years at the head of the world's largest humanitarian organisation, Mr.Morris told CNN's Your World Today programme:

"The world needs a crusader movement that involves the business community, the service club community, the boy scouts, students, the faith-based community, governments and NGOs to say that it's no longer acceptable for so many children to be hungry and we're all going to do a little more."

Mr.Morris stepped down as WFP's 10th Executive Director at the beginning of April to make way for his successor: Ms.Josette Sheeran, the former Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs at the United States Department of State.

Mr. Morris's period in charge included serving as the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Humanitarian Needs in Southern Africa.

Hungry children

The interview, broadcast last Friday, echoed a familiar refrain from Morris' five-year tenure -- the plight of the world's hungry children.

"There is nothing more important to a child, to a family, to a community, to a country than seeing that its children are well-fed. A child born to a healthy mother, well-nourished for the first 24, 36 months of life has every opportunity for a successful life where-ever he or she may live," said Morris.

"The child that's not fed is compromised from the beginning and no matter what the remedial activity that takes place later on in her life, they'll never catch-up," he added.

School feeding

Mr.Morris pointed to WFP's school feeding programme as a long-term solution to child hunger. The programme uses the incentive of free school lunches to encourage poor families to send their children to class rather than work.

"If you feed a child, make it possible for the child to go to school everything about the child's life changes for the better," he told CNN.

"It's the most profound investment the world can make in its future, feeding children and seeing that children have a chance to go to school."

Click here to see Mr.Morris' interview on CNN in full