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Minister Costello co-hosts international nutrition event in Washington during World Bank meetings

Irish Aid, Press Releases, North America, 2013

Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello T.D., will today co-host a meeting of international leaders in Washington to increase global efforts to tackle child hunger and improve agricultural productivity.

The “Investing in Agriculture for Nutrition” event takes place during the Spring Meetings of the World Bank in Washington, DC and is co-hosted by Canada. Speaking ahead of the meeting, Minister Costello highlighted the need for further investment in agriculture to improve the nutrition and health of poor families who depend on farming to survive.

Minister Costello will share the key messages from the Hunger – Nutrition – Climate Justice conference which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade co-hosted in Dublin earlier this week under Ireland’s Presidency of the EU.

“Addressing the links between hunger, nutrition and climate justice has been a clear development priority for Ireland’s EU Presidency. We have taken important lessons from our Dublin conference: It is clear that knowledge, education and science must be prioritised if we are to successfully adapt to climate change and that our response to these inter-linked challenges must be based on the needs and views of those who are most affected.

“I am committed to bringing the voices of the smallholder farmers who shared their experiences of growing food in a world impacted by climate change to international policy discussions. Ireland will be their advocate at the European Union, the UN and as we engage as EU Presidency in preparing for the UN high-level meeting in September on the Millennium Development Goals,” Minister Costello said.

During his visit to Washington to attend the the annual World Bank Spring Meetings,  Minister Costello will highlight Ireland’s experience of  supporting African countries to rebuild their economies at a conference, “Private Sector Investment and Job Creation in Fragile States”.

“Ireland was one of the first countries to partner with the World Bank Group to assist fragile and conflict-affected African countries to rebuild their private sector, increase stability, reduce poverty and support job creation. It is important that we share our experience with other countries and institutions at the Spring Meetings where the World Bank Group will start to develop its new strategy for the future,” he said.

Minister Costello will also attend a ministerial roundtable on “safety net programmes” which are designed to increase the capacity of vulnerable people to withstand shocks and crises by improving nutrition, access to schooling and reconciliation after conflicts.

Minister Costello will meet World Bank Managing Director, Caroline Anstey, to discuss Ireland’s cooperation with the Bank on food security, fragile states and the strategic direction of the Bank. He will also hold meetings with Ministers from Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Canada.

Yesterday, Minister Costello represented Ireland at a roundtable meeting on Mali, where he highlighted the importance of supporting preparations for free and fair elections and reconciliation involving the communities in the north.