In the discussion, Lula announced July 1 and 2 as the new dates for the Hunger Seminar organized by the FAO, the African Union and the Lula Institute
During a discussion about food security in Ghana, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva described the anti-hunger policies of his government and said that the results show “that is entirely possible to guarantee that every human being is able to eat three meals a day”. At the event, Lula invited former president of Ghana John Kufuor to participate in the Hunger Seminar sponsored by the FAO, the African Union and the Lula Institute on July 1-2, 2013.
To download high resolution images visit Picasa do Instituto Lula.
Lula and the former president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor participated in a discussion about food security sponsored by the FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization) in Accra, the capital of Ghana on Saturday (March 16). Lula and Kufuor shared the international World Food Prize for their success in combating hunger while serving as president of their respective countries. Their discussion described the successful experiences of Brazil and Ghana in the hope that they could be expanded and inspire other African countries. The audience of academics and leaders of social movements also heard from Ernest Aryeetey, professor of economics and Assistant Dean of the University of Ghana.
In his speech, Lula summarized the Brazilian experience with the Family Stipend (“Bolsa Familia”) and then took questions from the audience. The former president stressed the importance of enrollment and registration, of the benefits to be paid in cash using a magnetic card given to the female head of the family and the credit policy, particularly for family agriculture.
Registration and enrollment assures that the benefits reach the right people. The magnetic card allows the woman the independence to decide what to buy and guards against corrupt food distribution practices because no politician is involved in intermediating access to the cash. The program further added 45 million people to the banking public that had never previously had a bank account. This provided an injection into the local economy that made it begin to turn faster. The credit program for family agriculture, combined with easier access to technology, was also essential in increasing the production of food as well as maintaining an increased level of local economic activity.
People who are hungry experience a veritable hell on earth, because nothing is worse than to be hungry everyday. “It’s awful,” said Lula, recalling that people don’t want to live in hell, but rather in heaven. “I don’t want to have to die to get better. I want to eat every day, to go to school, to work…”
Lula also cited the Brazil Without Poverty program of President Dilma Rousseff and said that these achievements proved that it is “entirely possible to guarantee that every human being can eat three times a day.” And he continued: “the world produces food and has technology. What is needed is a little money in the hands of people so that they can buy food without having to beg, (without) asking for a little basket of food all the time.”
Former President Kufuor referred to Lula as my “Soul Brother” and explained how the support of his government for the modernization of agriculture drove the growth of GDP in Ghana and reduced poverty in the country by half. The two men stressed the importance of the commitment of the presidents in the struggle against poverty.
Lula emphasized his belief that the Brazilian experience could be a great help to many of the African countries. “I am convinced that the public policies that we carried out in Brazil will work in Africa. They have to be adapted to the reality and culture of each country, but they can be implemented in Africa.”
African Initiative: The Lula government (2003-2010) changed the priorities of Brazil’s foreign policy and refocused its efforts on expanding relations between Brazil and the African countries. There were a total of 33 presidential visits to the African continent during his Administration, and 19 new embassies were created.
Listen to the audios of the meeting: