The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the world food body of the United Nations, is preparing to lobby the Group of Eight summit in Genoa this weekend for an initial target of US$500m for its fund to alleviate world hunger.

About 800 million people go to bed hungry every night, and the FAO hopes that the fund will pay for education, irrigation projects and pest elimination to enable people in the developing world to be able to help feed themselves.
 
Jacques Diouf, director-general of the FAO, told Reuters yesterday that the world had fallen behind its target to halve world hunger by 2015. If action is not taken now, warned Diouf, the goal, which was made at the 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, will not be completed until 2030.

"The initial objective of US$500m is fundamental if we are to reaccelerate the process towards the goal of the World Food Summit by the year 2015."