Focus on fighting world hunger key theme for Milan Expo

NGOs challenge malnutrition through fair trade

Focus on fighting world hunger key theme for Milan Expo

(By Sandra Cordon). Milan, August 23 - Following the theme of Milan Expo 2015, which highlights the fight against malnutrition around the planet, Italian initiatives have been launched aimed at bringing together non-government groups involved in solving world hunger issues. One initiative, Expo4Children, is expected to lead to a two-year commitment to devise programs for improving food supply chains and creating healthy diets that could reach as many as 500,000 children in developing countries. The initiative would include an educational component for schools as well as assistance with local agricultural development, and would likely also involve relevant companies and research institutions. The work is being fostered through a round-table organized by Milan's Chamber of Commerce involving eight different themes and approaches to involvement in Expo 2015 – including a segment devoted to non-government organizations and the volunteer sector. And under that umbrella, a number of NGOs have come together to develop plans and projects that fit with the official theme of the 2015 world's fair: 'Feeding the Planet – Energy for Life', which centres on fighting famine and malnutrition worldwide through sustainable and healthy development, global cooperation, and new technology. A series of sub-themes have also been developed by the Milan Expo organizing committee, expanding on the broad theme of the world's fair. Those include: science and technology for food safety, security and quality; innovation in the agro-food supply chain; dietary education; food for better lifestyles; food and culture; cooperation and development of food. On its website, Expo Milano 2015 organizers say they intend to address the universal and complex topic of nutrition from an environmental, historical, cultural, anthropological, medical, technical, scientific, and economic point of view. "The history of humankind is full of examples that testify to the various ways in which human beings have and still do manipulate nature to get food: techniques and technology have changed the ways of hunting and fishing, breeding, farming, communicating, storing, processing, distributing and consuming food," Milan Expo organizers explain. "At Expo Milano 2015, humankind’s ability to transform nature in order to get food is placed at the centre of the attention of participants and visitors". The broader NGO segment is expected to bring together groups working on 17 programs in 26 countries around the world, with the goal of finding practical and effective measures to fight and resolve malnutrition through better access to a sufficient and balanced diet. The Milan Expo, which runs May 1 until October 31 2015, is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors, making it an extraordinarily high profile opportunity for governments, business, and volunteer agencies to promote ideas for combatting world hunger. Preparations on a 1.1-million-square-meter site have been underway for years. Conclude Expo organizers: "Expo Milano 2015 wants to make a contribution to fighting hunger and thirst - one of the great goals among the United Nations Millennium Goals - with an effort to share perspectives and solutions...A contribution based mainly on showcasing positive cases, success stories, effective models".

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