Hunger Strike by FAO Director-General
13 November 2009, Rome - On the eve of a major Hunger Summit, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf is embarking on a 24-hour public hunger strike to express his solidarity for more than 1 billion people around the world who are suffering from chronic hunger.

Dressed in a tracksuit, overcoat and woolly hat to keep out the cold, he settled into his make-shift room in FAO's Reception Area, equipped with a desk, a sofa and a prayer mat, as surprised staff members headed for the door.

When asked about the significance of his action, he replied, "Well this is a gesture of solidarity. I called on people of good will, people who believe in justice to express their solidarity with 1 billion hungry people around the world, and the babies that die every six seconds because of hunger. Naturally, those who are hungry are hungry all year round, at least for 24 hours, deciding not to eat and not to drink, I try to show a little solidarity together with all the people around the world who Saturday and Sunday will do the same thing. It's difficult to do more, and I wish we could do more, but at least I hope that through these gestures we will raise awareness, and we will have pressure on the part of public opinion, to ensure that those who may change this situation be able to do so. And naturally we have given all the technical, economic, financial conditions for eradicating hunger from the world therefore it is now a matter of political will, and political will is influenced by public opinion and therefore we are hoping that this gesture, adding to others, may help achieve our goal of having less people around the world suffering from hunger and being denied the most fundamental of human rights - the right to food, which is the right to exist, and the right to biological integrity."

Earlier this week, Diouf launched an online anti-hunger petition on Visitors to the website are asked to sign the petition if they agree that one billion people living in chronic hunger is unacceptable.
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