Having halved undernourishment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Unity Labour Party government’s next goal is zeroing hunger here.
“You are likely to get zero hunger before you get zero poverty. Because a person can be poor and not be hungry, because they may not be indigent, which is a species of dirt-poor condition,” Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference last week.
He said that moving to zero hunger is in fact moving to zero indigence.
“Now, I know that you will tell me that I may be too ambitious. You have to set goals. We have enough food produced to have zero hunger. There is skewed distribution of the food and there are some real intractable pockets [of poverty]. … And the closer you get to zero, the more difficult it is to get to zero.
“There are some persons who are undernourished whom the general increase, metaphorically, in the sea can lift the boats. In other words, the sea of increased prosperity can lift the boats. But there are others, you have to have highly specific targeted interventions. But the numbers are such that you can know them, each of them and we can devise precise measures for each of them,” he said.
Gonsalves said he is preparing and will present at an appropriate time a paper titled “The War Against Poverty, Challenge Towards Zero Hunger”.
“We have to wipe out indigence in this country. We have to wipe out undernourishment. And there is no time to begin to refocus your attention that is when you see the progress you have made,” he said.
This country being among 38 recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in June for halving undernourishment.
“You are not inventing the wheel. You are continuing the policies which have brought you successes this far, but you also have to do some adjustments, some refinements and some targeted strategic interventions. And I have laid out many of them in this paper…” Gonsalves said.