Hello, and welcome to “As It Is,” our daily show for people learning American English.
I’m Christopher Cruise in Washington.
Today on the program, we look at whether African leaders have kept the promise they made ten years ago to spend more money on agriculture research.
在今天的节目里，我们来关注非洲领导人能否信守 10 年前作出的承诺，把更多资金投入农业研究。
“…the level of execution, the real expenditure of this budget, remain unfortunately very low -- between 65 to 70 percent of the resources allocated are really spent [on farmers.]”
And we take you back 119 years, to the day when workers began building the foundation on which the Statue of Liberty would stand, on an island in New York harbor.
然后我们带大家回到 119 年前，回到工人们开始在纽约港的小岛上为自由女神像修建基座的那一天。
“He realized his statue would have a greater impact in the busiest harbor.”
But first, we go to India, where the government says it has a plan to help the country’s many millions of poor people deal with the rising cost of food…
In India, Worry About Sharply-Rising Food Prices
The Indian government says it will pay to lower the cost of food grains for more than two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 billion people. But not everyone thinks the program will work. And some critics believe the government is supporting the plan only to get votes.
印度政府称，它将出资为全国 12 亿人的2/3 以上人口降低粮食作物的价格。不过，并非所有人都认为这个项目能够起作用。一些批评者认为，政府支持这个计划只是为了赢得投票。
Faith Lapidus reports…
Food prices continue to rise in India’s capital, New Delhi. So Geeta Kashyap negotiates even harder at a local market to persuade food sellers to lower their prices.
印度首都新德里的食物价格持续上涨。因此 Geeta Kashyap 加紧了在当地市场的谈判，说服食品商贩降低他们的价格。
“Everything is so expensive now, diesel is expensive, gasoline is expensive, food is getting expensive -- tomatoes that used to be 20 rupees a kilo are now 70 rupees a kilo -- how can someone eat?”
“现在所有东西都太贵了，柴油贵、汽油贵、食物也越来越贵——过去 1 公斤 20卢比的番茄现在要 1 公斤 70 卢比——人们怎么吃得起？”
The Indian government is answering that question with its new food security plan. The government will guarantee a majority of India’s people five kilograms of rice, wheat and coarse cereal a month at reduced cost -- just one to three rupees per kilogram. Poor children and pregnant women will get free meals.
印度政府正在通过新的食品保障计划回应这个问题。该政府每个月将会为大多数印度人担保 5 公斤的低价大米、小麦和杂粮——每公斤仅 1~3 卢比。贫困儿童和孕妇将得到免费食物。
The program is important for India, where one-fourth of the world’s hungry poor live. In addition, one out of three Indian children is reported to suffer from malnutrition. That is a rate higher than for children in countries south of the Saharan desert in Africa.
该项目对生活着全世界 1/4 饥饿贫民的印度来说非常重要。另外，据报道 1/3 印度儿童在遭受营养不良之苦。这个比率比撒哈拉以南非洲国家的孩子都高。
The plan would expand food aid to 50 percent of people living in cities and 75 percent of India’s rural population. But critics say the government must improve the way the food is provided for the plan to be successful.
这项计划会将食品援助扩大到 50%的城市人口和 75%的印度农村人口。不过批评者称，这个计划要想成功，政府必须改善食物的提供方式。
Sushil Kumar spoke with VOA about the problem as he bought food at a market in the Indian capital. He wonders if the reduced-price grains will get to those who need it.
Sushil Kumar 在印度首都的一个市场上买食物时对 VOA 谈论了这个问题。他怀疑低价粮食能否交到需要者手里。
“What store owner is going to give rice for three rupees a kilo? How will a person have proof that he is poor and entitled to those subsidies? He needs a card to show to a shop owner.”
“什么样的店主会卖每公斤 3 卢比的大米？一个人如何证明自己穷到有资格得到这些补贴？他需要向商店店主展示一张卡片。”
VOA also spoke with Trishna Garg at the market. She says the Cabinet approved the bill and the president signed it because the ruling Congress party wants to win elections set for next year.
VOA 还采访了市场上的 Trishna Garg。她说，政府内阁通过了这项决议，总统也签署了它，是因为当政的国民大会党想要赢得在明年进行的选举。
“They did this for the votes, the government doesn’t really do anything, but during election time, they say, this will be cheaper, but nothing happens.”
There are also questions about whether India has the $21 billion necessary to pay for the program.
还有一个问题是政府是否拿得出必须为这个项目支付的 210 亿美元。
I’m Faith Lapidus.
Ten Years Later: Promises Made, But Not Kept
In 2003, leaders of 53 African Union countries promised to spend at least 10 percent of their national budgets on investment in agriculture. Ten years later, only seven of the countries have reached that goal.
2003 年，非洲联盟 53 个国家的领导人承诺要将至少 10%的国家预算投入农业。10年过去了，只有 7 个国家达到了这个目标。
The promise was called the Maputo Declaration.
Now, ten years after the Declaration, aid groups are urging AU countries to repeat their commitment.
现在，宣言发表的 10 年后，救援组织正在敦促非盟的成员国重拾他们的承诺。
Mario Ritter reports…
Many countries spend less than three percent of their budgets on investment in agriculture. Yet small-scale farmers represent more than 80 percent of their populations.
Eric Hazard is with the West Africa GROW campaign, a program operated by Oxfam International.
Eric Hazard 参与了西非“种植”运动，这个项目由国际施乐会运营。
“In Africa, we know that 90 percent of the population living in rural area(s) is living with agriculture and by agriculture. We also know that we are, in some region(s), for example, in West Africa, where we are facing some regular and recurring crisis, food crisis. So we can’t continue to believe that we’ll be able to resolve the food insecurities that all population are facing only by ignoring this sector. So it’s critical in term(s) of guarantees of food security of the population, but it’s also critical to ensure that we will reduce seriously the poverty.”
Eric Hazard says investing in livestock is also important.
Eric Hazard 说，对牲畜的投资也很重要。
For example, in Niger, live animals are responsible for about 22 percent of the country’s exports. Farm animals are considered an important method of reducing poverty among the country’s poorest people. But only 1.7 percent of the national budget is spent on livestock investment.
Mr. Hazard says while reaching the 10 percent goal is important, it is only the first step. He says the quality of the investment is also important.
Hazard 先生说，虽然达到 10%的目标很重要，它也只是第一步。他说，投资的质量也很重要。
“Even countries which I’ve been able to reach -- I can take, for example, the case of Burkina Faso, who is the champion of Maputo, is the first one, in fact, who has dedicated the most resources in its agriculture budget -- the level of execution, the real expenditure of this budget, remain unfortunately very low -- between 65 to 70 percent of resources allocated are really spent [on farmers.]”
Eric Hazard says the money is often used on wages for government employees.
Eric Hazard 说，资金通常用在了政府雇员的薪水上。
Experts predict West Africa’s population will double by the year 2030. To avoid further and more severe food crises, aid organizations are urging AU countries to re-state their commitment to the Maputo Declaration and make the promised investments in agriculture.
专家预测，西非人口到 2030 年会翻倍。为了避免未来更严重的食品危机，援助机构正在敦促非盟国家重新声明他们在《马普托宣言》的承诺，许诺为农业进行投资。
I’m Mario Ritter.
Statue of Liberty Begins Her Rise
Finally, on August 5th, 1884, workers began building the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal, or foundation, on a small island in New York Harbor.
最后，在 1884 年的 8 月 5 日，工人们开始在纽约港的一个小岛上修筑自由女神像的基座。
She was a gift from the people of France to the United States to mark the 100th anniversary of America’s independence from Great Britain.
她是法国人民为了纪念美国从大不列颠独立 100 周年而赠给美国的礼物。
She was sculpted by Frederic Bartholdi.
Barry Moreno wrote The Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia. He says Frederic Bartholdi chose the place where the statue was placed.
“And while entering the harbor by ship he saw a small island called Bedloe’s Island. And he saw Manhattan, and he was struck by the magnificent vista, and he was aware that New York was the pre-eminent harbor. So he selected New York as the site of the Statue of Liberty for that reason. He realized his statue would have a greater impact in the busiest harbor.”
It took more than two years to complete the pedestal and statue on the island. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated by President Grover Cleveland on October 28th, 1886.
在岛上修建基座和雕像花了 2 年多时间。自由女神像在 1886 年 10 月 28 日由总统格罗弗•克利夫兰主持落成。
Millions of passengers heading for the immigration station on Ellis Island -- near Bedloe’s Island -- came to see the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of their new lives in America.
I’m Christopher Cruise, and that’s “As It Is” on The Voice of America.