Addressing a meeting at the FAO headquarters in Rome – attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Sahel, Romano Prodi, and other senior UN officials and mediators dealing directly with the Sahel crisis – FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, noted that the relation between food insecurity, hunger and the dispute over natural resources and conflicts was particularly evident in the Sahel.“There is a clear linkage between hunger and conflict; food security and peace in Africa,” Mr. Graziano da Silva stated in a news release. “Investing in food security in the Sahel is also an investment in a peaceful and more stable future.” The western part of the Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is currently facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights.In addition to political instability in Mali, the region suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems.Added to that is the humanitarian crisis affecting the region this year, in which over 18 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity and over one million children risk severe acute malnutrition.“It is essential to step up support and also combine short-term humanitarian responses with longer-term development actions,” the FAO Director-General said. “We need to make livelihoods more resilient. And we need to ensure that our interventions in different areas – food security and nutrition, agriculture, health, education and security – are as integrated as possible,” he continued, adding that the FAO was committed to working more closely with Mr. Prodi and African leaders to promote the Sahel’s sustainable development. Since his appointment, Mr. Prodi has travelled to a number of cities for meetings with government officials, including in the Malian capital, Bamako, as well as in Ethiopia, Egypt and Algeria, as part of his effort to focus on the security situation in Mali but also on humanitarian aid and development issues.Mr. Prodi, who described the Rome meeting as “productive,” similarly emphasized the need for consistent development across the African region in order to stave off the looming threat of insecurity. “The Special Envoys and mediators expressed a unique convergence of views and underlined the need to work together in support of the countries of the Sahel and Mali in their efforts to stabilize the region towards long term development,” the Special Envoy said in a statement. Referring to his recent trip to Niger, Mr. Graziano da Silva voiced optimism that coordinated efforts could ultimately bring an end to hunger in the Sahel.“What I saw was encouraging,” he stated. “It convinced me that there is hope; that there is political will to reverse the negative trends leading to food insecurity in the region.”
Lantern file photoThe Columbus Division of Police have obtained surveillance video of an alleged assault of a woman at a Columbus bar Saturday, in which Ohio State football player Carlos Hyde was named as a “person of interest,” Columbus Police Sgt. Richard Weiner confirmed Wednesday to The Lantern.Weiner said police are reviewing the surveillance video of the incident, which occurred at about 2 a.m. Saturday at the Sugar Bar 2, located at 303 S. Front Street, according to a Columbus Police report.The woman told police she did not know the suspect who allegedly assaulted her but could identify him, according to the report.No charges have been filed against Hyde, but the investigation is still ongoing, Weiner said. Columbus Police have not yet interviewed the woman.According to a Tuesday report from Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, the surveillance video shows Hyde did not appear to make contact with the alleged victim. Weiner did not confirm or deny this information.Hyde has been suspended from all football team activities pending the outcome of student code of conduct and criminal investigations.Hyde, a senior running back, is expected to be a starter for the Buckeyes this season if he is reinstated. He finished second on the Buckeyes with 970 rushing yards last season, and led the team with 16 rushing touchdowns.Hyde was named to the 2013 preseason Doak Walker Award watch list, an award given to the top college football running back.