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Progress On Hunger Due To G-20/G-8 Or Business?

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran took part in a debate about global leadership hosted by BBC World at Davos today. She asked how much of the progress in lifting people out of hunger in the last 20 years was down to the G20 and the global architecture  and and how much was due to social entrepreneurship on the ground.

WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran was part of an interesting debate about global leadership hosted by BBC World at Davos this afternoon. Sheeran’s question was as follows:

In the past 20 years hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of hunger and poverty – in Brazil, in China, in India, Ghana, Vietnam, Chile and other countries.  How much was due to the leadership of the G-20, G-8 and the global architecture and how much was due to social entrepreneurs on the ground in these countries?

Here are excerpts from the answers that followed:

Christine Lagarde, Minister of Finance, France
“The numbers show lots of people have been lifted out of poverty. It is the result of social entrepreneurship on the ground but also the result of much more trade, much more movement of goods and services and capital around the planet.”
“China has played a large part with its membership in the WTO and agreement to remove some barriers to trade.”

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations
“Internationally, governments can set the context in which individuals, the private sector and so forth can flourish. The WTO is one of the most important drivers of international development we have.”

Victor Chu, CEO, First Eastern Investment Group
 “Globalization in trade has done a lot of good in the last 20 years. But it’s a process that we need to sustain. The danger is that we are bogged down in the next stage of liberalisation.”