October 14, 1987

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

This is the seventh successive year in which people everywhere, including Americans, have observed World Food Day in a spirit of rededication to the continuing fight against world hunger. We Americans are a people with strong ties to other nations and with a long record of humanitarian concern for the hungry around the world. We are blessed with the wherewithal to help: a bountiful land whose fertile soil, moderate climate, and economic and political freedom provide the keys not only to abundance here at home but to a surplus which can be shared with others in grave need around the globe.

Progress has been made in averting the threat of famine in many regions, but widespread poverty and hunger, especially in developing countries, constantly challenge us to ease the human suffering they cause and to preserve the human potential they deplete. As hunger robs people of health and strength, it also saps the economic systems to which they might otherwise contribute, upsets the social order, frustrates progress at every level, and engenders hopelessness and instability.

Our Nation has always been -- and continues to be -- deeply committed to helping feed the hungry wherever they may be, and to accomplish this goal an extensive network of private and public efforts has been established. But additional steps are clearly necessary. Greater success in the fight against hunger will require the implementation of worldwide agricultural and trade policies designed to promote economic growth and stability for all nations, developing and developed alike. Schemes of narrowly focused government intervention must be replaced by systems that respond to the production and trade decisions made by free individuals. Farmers must have ready access to the international marketplace and the opportunity to compete freely and to sell the goods they produce. Nations, if they are to move toward self-reliance in agriculture, must install systems that promote private ownership, reward effort and efficiency, and recognize the dignity of those who work the land.

The United States has established an initiative to End Hunger in Africa by the end of the century through economic growth and private sector development. All U.S. bilateral and multilateral economic programs and policies are oriented toward this goal. But U.S. government programs cannot do it alone. The participation and commitment of Africans, other donors, and the private sector -- volunteer and business, both American and international -- are essential.

In recognition of the desire and commitment of the American people to end World hunger, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 110, has designated October 16, 1987, as ``World Food Day'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 16, 1987, as World Food Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate activities to explore ways in which our Nation can contribute further to the elimination of hunger in the world.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:49 a.m., October 15, 1987]