Leaders of the world's eight richest countries capped a three-day
summit in L'Aquila, Italy Friday, agreeing to provide $20 billion in
aid to help poor countries feed themselves.
The United States has pledged $3.5 billion to the three-year program to help poor countries fight hunger and develop their own agricultural sectors. The announcement followed talks between G-8 leaders on food security with their counterparts from African nations.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization welcomed the announcement as "an encouraging policy shift to help the poor and hungry."
In reviewing the summit for reporters, U.S. President Barack Obama noted that the leaders had "candid and spirited" discussions on such issues as economic stagnation and climate change. He said they agreed that full recovery from the global economic recession is still a long way off, and cited the need to work together to restore the global economy.
He said discussions on climate change had improved chances for further negotiations later this year.
Mr. Obama noted agreements on the need for measures to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
He said the leaders expressed concern about what he called the "appalling events" that followed Iran's presidential election and the risk it poses to nuclear proliferation.
The president noted that it was his fourth major international summit in as many months and he said it was time to re-evaluate international institutions but as he put it, in another time and place.
The G-8 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia.