- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Former Secretary of Agriculture John Block in his Dec. 23 Op-Ed column, “Feed the hungry; America should lead global strategy,” made an interesting and instructive point by advocating a more integrated approach in U.S. food aid programs. In this regard, he cogently indicated that a comprehensive strategy would effectively address hunger today as well as in the long run.

Because it is commonly known that hunger crises arise mostly from human conflicts and bad governance (misuse of public resources, poor judgment in social and economic decision-making, to name just a few examples), it should be a priority for America to spread and promote the values of democracy around the world, help prevent looming conflicts in vulnerable areas and assist in the conception and implementation of self-sufficiency-oriented agricultural policies where necessary. It certainly would proactively save thousands of lives while precluding the displacement of many people from their homelands in search of peace and food.

Addressing the root causes of hunger likewise would have the tremendous advantage of getting affected countries out of the “assistance paradigm” in which they have been lingering for decades. By doing so, America would foster a real sense of world leadership.

Obviously, lack of peace, lack of democracy, lack of adequate economic and social policies, and lack of food are deeply intertwined.

JEAN-JULES FOGANG

Silver Spring

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