Hunger Feeds Terrorism, Say Aid Agencies

May 13, 2005, 01:00 ET from Counterpart International

    KANSAS CITY, Mo., May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- "The war on terrorism, if it is
 to succeed, has to be accompanied by the war against hunger," said a member of
 the coalition of the leading American food aid agencies.
     "Hunger breeds terror," declared Lelei LeLaulu, President of Counterpart
 International, one of the 16 members of the Coalition for Food Aid.
     "Hunger is often perpetuated by post-colonial oligarchies which continue
 to oppress populations by strangling equitable distribution and fair pricing
 of food.  It also stifles food security and starves democracy."
     Continuing his address to the world's largest meeting devoted to food aid,
 the Export Food Aid conference in Kansas City, LeLaulu said well implemented
 food aid "can break the stranglehold of these tyrannies -- the war on terror
 will not be won if more resources are not given to the war on hunger."
     Speaking for the Coalition for Food Aid, which comprises leading non-
 profit development agencies, LeLaulu asserted, "American food aid helps to
 break down these tyrannies which lead to hunger, frustration, and eventually
 to desperation and violence."
     Julius Coles, President of AfriCare, told more than 800 participants from
 the food industry, government, international and non-governmental
 organizations that 36 million metric tons were needed to cope with the massive
 problems of hunger. He lamented, however, "we were only able to provide some
 three million metric tons."  The AfriCare head reminded the conference,
 organized by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States
 Agency for International Development, "without US Food Aid, there is nothing."
     The former Secretary of Agriculture for the Philippines, Luis P. Lorenzo,
 Jr., asserted food aid "presented to the world what is not often seen -- the
 kind face of American aid."  Secretary Lorenzo was speaking at the Food Aid
 Coalition's first annual awards honoring groups and governments for leadership
 in improving the health, living conditions and incomes of millions of people
 who live in poverty and suffer from hunger.
     The Coalition for Food Aid, made up of major US NGOs including ACDI/VOCA,
 ADRA, AfriCare, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Counterpart International,
 Mercy Corps, Save The Children, and World Vision, wants Congress to increase
 annual American food aid to two billion US dollars.
     CONTACT:  Bevan Springer of Counterpart International, +1-202-296-9676, or

SOURCE Counterpart International