David Lambert, principal of Lambert Associates of Washington, D.C., and a consultant to United Nations agencies, universities and the private sector on global food security, food safety and agricultural biotechnology, pulled no punches in a recent talk at the Clinton School of Public Service on ending world hunger.
Lambert said "The main root cause of hunger is governance, any way you cut it. If you don't believe it look at Zimbabwe, North Korea, Somalia and see how despotic regimes can disempower their people with stunning implications for health and food security."
He did not shy from topics such as the daunting equation of soaring world population and declining food production; food shortages as a national security issue; climate change; agricultural research and the bioengineering of food; women's empowerment and sex trafficking; post-harvest loss and the role of the private sector in ending hunger.
Lambert also had high praise for Heifer International President Jo Luck, who stood at the end of the noon lecture and asked permission to quote Lambert as she accepts the World Food Prize Oct. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.
At one point Lambert nodded to Jo Luck and said: "There's an old joke the punchline of which is: 'Never talk about floods if Noah is in the audience,' and I don't know why I'm answering this question instead of Jo Luck.' "
"This is the United States equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. It goes to the person in the world who has done the most to end global hunger," Lambert said. "Let me just say that there are thousands of NGOs doing good work in health and hunger and child nutrition and all the rest. ... The World Food Prize Committee, that Norman Borlaug started, when they sit down to pick, they're looking at 195 countries and hundreds of NGOs, and the fact they have chosen Jo Luck and David Beckmann (Bread for the World), is a very wonderful and significant thing."
Click here to read World Ark's article on Jo Luck's World Food Prize award.