US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Irish Minister Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin will co-host an international hunger conference in New York in September to which up to 190 nations have been invited.

Food security in the wake of the disastrous floods in Pakistan and wild fires in Russia are expected to top the agenda.

Martin told the press yesterday that Clinton and he had both agreed to co-host the conference when she visited Dublin last year. Officials have been working closely on the plan since the Dublin meeting to ensure the conference formulates what he called tangible proposals to help tackle world hunger.

The conference will hear from high-profile campaigners on world hunger and from private sector leaders.

Martin said the floods in Pakistan and the wheat shortage caused by the recent fires in Russia added greater urgency to the September conference.

'We are prioritising the prevention of under-nutrition in children under the age of two, as the science shows that children never recover from malnutrition at that age; they never develop to their full potential physically or mentally.'

'And we estimate that about 200 million children are suffering from malnutrition globally. We will call on the international community to work together to respond to this crisis, he added.


US Secretary of State Hillary ClintonPA Wire/Press Association Images