UN official commends former leaders of Ghana, Brazil on winning World Food Prize

By United Nations

The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today congratulated the former presidents of Ghana and Brazil, John Kufuor and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who have been honoured for their vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

The two men, who led the drastic reduction of hunger and poverty in their countries, are the winners of the 2011 World Food Prize, announced in Washington yesterday.

“It is the first time this prize, created 25 years ago by Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, recognizes the vital role of national leaders in fighting hunger at home and abroad, and we hope that the world's leaders will be encouraged to continue on their path,” WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said in a statement.

“President Kufuor and President Lula have both been strong supporters of WFP, especially throughout the recent years of high price volatility, which have pushed the number of hungry people in the world to nearly one billion,” she added.

Mr. Kufuor has been a WFP Ambassador Against Hunger since 2009 and Ms. Sheeran said this recognition further highlights the importance of his work, both around the globe and in Ghana, where, during his two terms as president he improved food security and reduced poverty through public and private sector initiatives.

Last year, WFP recognized Mr. Lula da Silva as a Global Champion in the Battle Against Hunger in recognition of his leadership in the fight against hunger and inadequate nutrition in his country and across the world.

Mr. Kufuor is also a recipient of the WFP award, which is given to individuals for their vision and leadership in addressing hunger, and for showing that the fight against hunger and child under-nutrition can be won.