U.N. criticizes Canada for letting people go hungry

OTTAWA Wed May 16, 2012 1:35pm EDT

Related Topics

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A U.N. official criticized Canada on Wednesday for allowing some of its people to go hungry, but the government shrugged it off, saying there are more pressing food concerns in other countries.

"Canada has long been seen as a land of plenty. Yet today one in 10 families with a child under six is unable to meet their daily food needs," Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement.

"These rates of food insecurity are unacceptable, and it is time for Canada to adopt a national right to food strategy."

He said 800,000 households in the country are "food insecure". Canada has a population of 34 million.

Canada is the first developed country on which De Schutter has reported. U.N. spokeswoman Yoonie Kim said Canada has a standing invitation to U.N. human rights officials to visit.

Reacting to De Schutter's report, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told reporters the country's federal and provincial governments are focused on improving the lives of Canadians and their ability to provide for themselves.

But he said: "There are, what, 193 members of the U.N.? I think most Canadians would think that spending 11 days in Canada on this issue - his time would be better spent elsewhere."

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Peter Galloway)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
xcanada2 wrote:
I hate to say it, but
it looks like they are learning well from Israel:
Why should you look at us; we are just a little country.

May 16, 2012 2:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bill1942 wrote:
The U.N., of itself, does nothing but criticize, issue meaningless resolutions, and spend other people’s money. The U.N. should butt out, and we should get out (of it).

May 16, 2012 2:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:
Heck, i hope they never look at the US…

May 16, 2012 2:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.