In 1996 world leaders gathered at the World Food Summit in Rome pledged to halve the number of hungry people in the world by 2015. This commitment was reiterated in 2000 as part of the United Nations (UN) development goals. In the meantime millions of tonnes of food and other resources have been poured into fighting hunger, and yet the number of hungry people is on the rise: from 800 million out of a total population of 5.8 billion in 1996 to 854 million against a population of 6.5 billion ten years later*.

One of the people responsible for trying to get to grips with the problem is Josette Sheeran from the United States (US), since April executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome. As the head of the food-aid arm of the UN and the world