In this year’s lecture, held at the Royal Irish Academy, Father Michael touched on the immensity of food security and chronic hunger, as it relates to the burden of HIV/AIDS. He examined the world’s wider inequalities of conflict, migration, poverty and chronic hunger, particularly the disproportionate effect that it has on children. Father Michael also discussed how availability and access to food is impacted by a wider range of socioeconomic and environmental factors. For those living hand-to-mouth, day to day, the question of food security is often a far greater priority than even access to proper medical treatment or care. In recognition of this, Father Michael’s lecture closed with the need to advocate for the social protection of the most vulnerable people and communities through promoting cash transfers, sustainable livelihoods, skills and knowledge transfer, school-based educational programmes.
Keynote speakers for this year’s World AIDS Day Event included Stuart Gillespie, Co-Founder and Director of RENEWAL – the Regional network on HIV/AIDS, Rural Livelihoods, and Food Security, and Conell Foley, Director of the Strategy, Advocacy and Learning (Policy Unit) with Concern Worldwide.