UN World Food Programme

Students Fighting Hunger Hold Summit in Rome

February 2009 Food distribution for around 2,000 beneficiaries in Kasanze in north western Zimbabwe. 

Copyright; WFP/Richard Lee

Students from the United States, Europe and Africa are meeting in Rome for a two-day hunger summit aimed at mapping out new ways for students around the world to contribute to the fight against global hunger.

ROME -- The first European Universities Hunger Summit, building on previous summits in the United States, takes as its starting point the fact that, with the right political will, world hunger could be defeated in this generation.

“This summit is all about the simple fact that hunger is a solvable problem, that we have the tools and the knowhow to do it in this generation,” said Douglas Casson Coutts, professor of nutrition and food science at Auburn University.

“These students know that and they want to make it happen. That’s why they’re saying ‘our time is now’,” he added, referring to one of the summit's key messages.

NGOs, hunger studies, global citizenship

Topics to be covered include an overview of global hunger; a comparative examination of the cultures of giving; the role of WFP and related NGOs in addressing hunger; integrating hunger studies into the university curriculum; and accepting the challenges of global citizenship.

The summit, sponsored by Sodexo, starts on Thursday at WFP’s Rome headquarters. It will then shift to Sala Gonzaga, Via della Consolazione 4 . Co-sponsors are WFP, Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) and the American Association of College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI).

Partnered with WFP, Universities Fighting World Hunger is an alliance of higher education institutions around the globe that is committed to implementing short–term grassroots approaches and long–term academic solutions to ending hunger. UFWH sponsored its 4th annual U.S. University Hunger Summit in February on the campus of Auburn University, the lead university partner for the organization.