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Task Force on Hunger.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 23 November 2006

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Ceisteanna (116)

Michael Noonan

Ceist:

87 Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the status of the proposed International Hunger Task force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39506/06]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Foreign)

The Government has decided, in line with the recommendation in the White Paper on Irish Aid, to establish a Task Force on Hunger. The aim of the Task Force will be to identify the additional, appropriate and effective contributions that Ireland can make to international efforts to reduce hunger and thus achieve the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger by 2015.

Consultations are currently underway on the likely composition and programme of work of the Task Force. What I can say at this stage is that, in terms of size, it will be a compact group of no more than 12 members and that it will have both Irish and international high-level participation.

In terms of substance, it is envisaged that the Task Force will build on the valuable work on hunger of the UN Millennium Project "Halving hunger: it can be done" and will:

Carry out a macro level analysis of Ireland's aid programme to assess the extent to which it is addressing food security and hunger through its partnerships with development agencies and organisations (UN, NGOs and others) and through its own bilateral programmes;

Make recommendations on where the opportunities and necessary resources exist for Ireland to strengthen its own programmes and partnerships to address the issue of hunger;

Suggest actions whereby Ireland can give practical leadership internationally on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal on hunger;

In the context of Ireland's own history of famine and its current success in relation to agriculture and food production, examine new areas where the energies, expertise and experience available in Ireland across the public and private sectors and in research institutions can be appropriately and effectively harnessed to the international efforts to reduce hunger.

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