‘Show more heart to end global hunger’
Princess Haya’s message to the UAE and beyond on World Food Day
The world does not need technology to end hunger, just “more effort” from those who can help.
That was the message from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (inset), the wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ahead of World Food Day today.
In an opinion editorial piece released last night, Princess Haya wrote: “Hunger is often and quite rightly called ‘the world’s greatest solvable problem.’
“We don’t need to look to more biotechnology advances or any genetic engineering breakthroughs to feed the hungry – we need more effort.
“To end world hunger, what we need is simply more ‘heart’ – the ‘heart’ to empathise with the suffering of people; the heart to take action and do what it is needed to bring them relief.”
With food wastage such an issue in the UAE, Princess Haya’s words should resonate across the country.
She pointed out that roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – is “lost or wasted”, adding that such statistics “underline the fact that most of us take the food we eat for granted. Many of us around the world are completely and utterly unaware that basic food is a precious commodity for 800 million people”.
She wrote: “One in nine people in the world struggle to find a simple meal or any form of good nutrition. Let that sink in. Every single night, 800 million people go to bed weak from having eaten little or nothing that day.”
To highlight the effort already being made, Princess Haya praised the work of HH Sheikh Mohammed and his response to alleviate the suffering of many people struggling without food. She pointed out that in 2014, when an Israeli bombardment ravaged Gaza, Sheikh Mohammed took quick action with “one goal” – to help the needy, organising planes to travel from the International Humanitarian City in Dubai to Amman in Jordan in order to ferry supplies, including food, to Gazans. And she pointed to Sheikh Mohammed’s recent efforts to fly a plane full of aid to refugees in South Sudan. She said of Sheikh Mohammed: “While he has a deep passion for giving the best possible life to his people he is also keen to share some of the gains of the country’s progress with the less fortunate around the world. “Sheikh Mohammed’s initiatives demonstrate that if more world leaders had the will and desire to solve the problems of the deprived, we could easily realise our dream of ending hunger and poverty.” Princess Haya finished by telling us all, on World Food Day today, to spare a thought for the more than “billion people who wake up every day hungry, malnourished, thirsty and sick”. She said: “Those of us living in the UAE don’t have to look far for inspiration.”
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