Senegal’s Wade says UN food agency should be scrapped

DAKAR, May 5, 2008 (AFP) – Senegal’s outspoken President Abdoulaye Wade late Sunday called for the scrapping of the UN food agency, saying its inefficiency had largely led to soaring food prices worldwide. Wade said the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), headed by his compatriot Jacques Diouf, was a “waste of money largely spent on doing very little for effective operations on the ground.

“Despite the qualities of its secretary general … it is the institution of the FAO that is being put into question,” he said in an address aired on radio and television.

“The current situation is largely its failure and the cries of alarm will not help at all.”

Wade said he had long campaigned for the Rome-based body to be relocated in the world’s poorest continent Africa, wracked by food shortages and hunger.

“This time, I’m going further, we must scrap it,” he said, referring to FAO, whose work he said was being “duplicated by others, apparently more efficiently.”

The Senegalese leader said several initiatives had been launched after the world suddenly woke up to the food crisis but even these cast the FAO in a poor light.

The FAO sought 1.7 million dollars (1.1 million euros) for