IFIAD hosts Cindy McCain, World Food Programme

Posted August 24, 2023

IFIAD was delighted to host Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, at an inter-sectoral dialogue meeting held at the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in Dublin.

Our dialogue focused on Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2) targets and the global hunger crisis. Participants included leaders of IFIAD member institutions engaged in international agricultural development and activities to reduce hunger on our planet, including Self Help Africa, Trócaire, Concern, Goal Global, World Vision, Dóchas, University of Galway and Trinity College Dublin.

In front row, from left, Prof. Charles Spillane, Chair of IFIAD, Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) and Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Also in attendance were key representatives from government departments (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Department of Foreign Affairs), state agencies (Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, Teagasc) and the private sector (Kerry).

The discussions focused on energising more impactful and innovative partnerships that can deliver accelerated impact on SDG2 targets at scale, where the Irish organisations engaged in international development also provided their recommendations on how the community of humanitarian and development actors can better work together to ensure that addressing the global hunger crisis remains a top priority for governments and the private sector.

The hunger and malnutrition statistics are stark:

  • Almost one in every 10 people on our planet suffer from chronic hunger, unsure of where their next meal will come from.
  • About 735 million people suffered from hunger in 2022, with an increase of 122 million people since 2019.
  • In terms of malnutrition, 3.1 billion people in the world cannot afford a healthy diet – almost 4 out of every 10 people on our planet.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Charles Spillane, Chair of IFIAD, said “When we look at the zero hunger imperative, time is not on our side. As of August 2023, there are less than 7 years between now and the 2030 SDG targets. Accelerated scaling, financing and implementation of hunger-reducing initiatives targeted towards the most marginalised are critical to meeting the SDG2 targets, and indeed the targets of multiple SDGs.”

As a donor, Ireland has consistently been a key supporter of WFP. In 2022, Minister Charlie McConalogue, on behalf of the Irish Government, signed a strategic agreement to commit €75m over a three-year period, 2022-2024, to the UN World Food Programme.