Agricultural development through productivity improvements, crop intensification, irrigation, and investment in infrastructure has significantly improved food security and the seasonal dimension of hunger worldwide in recent years. Yet seasonal hunger still persists among the rural poor, and should not be lost within poverty statistics or forgotten when addressing chronic hunger in policymaking.
Crossing the road to my office from lunch recently, a tiny girl ran after me and held my hand to ask for money. I told her that it is not right for children to beg. She looked at me sternly as if daring me to do anything about it. Looking over my shoulder I saw her young mother sitting by the roadside keenly watching, encouraging her.
Some changes really are instant. And if four year olds, with no voting power at all, living under the poverty line can still find a way to give lentils to starving babies? If they can feel powerful, purely because it never occurs to them that they don't have the power to change the world and help others?
Or, any other rich, white guy with a trust fund or 6 figure income or a banker or a footballer or a Russian oligarch or CEO of a multi-national corporation or a hedge fund manager. It matters to the vast majority of families living in the UK (and not "families" as defined by the current obsession with "hard-working families" rhetoric used to punish anyone who is not rich)
I'm in New York this week to engage in the Post 2015 development process first hand. I know I'm not alone when I say that the process to agree a new agenda for the fight on global poverty is confusing and impenetrable. This week's focus is on financing and implementation. It's the "who's-going-to-pay?" and "how's-it-going-to-happen?" parts of the puzzle.
Those inclined to judge might say it's irresponsible to spend money on anything other than the basic necessities when you're struggling financially, but where do you draw the line? Do you decide to wait until you're earning more or have paid off more of your debts before you get the kids a pet or take them on holiday, or do you realise that if you wait for those things to happen they'll have grown up and gone?
On Easter Monday, the Sun ran a full page non-story attacking the Trussell Trust for tenuous and supposed hypocrisy. Was there any mention of the fact that thousands of parents are going hungry to feed their children in the UK this Easter holiday? No. For me, this is the real story - or at least it should be. So why are certain sections of the media so determined to undermine anyone who speaks out about the reality of hunger and poverty in the UK? Last Easter, the Mail on Sunday ran an undercover investigation at foodbanks, trying to attack them, and those who need them. It notoriously backfired. This year it was the Sun.
We need an ambitious yet realistic agenda to end extreme poverty by 2030 as the UN has proposed, and it is my firm belief that increased cooperation between states on issues such as trade, human rights, security and climate change gives us the political clout in order to achieve this. It is only in this way we can ensure that the benefits of globalisation are felt all the way from the Peterlee to Patagonia.