We would like to start these lines with relatively good news. The percentage of hungry people in Africa dropped from 28% to 20% between 1990 and 2015. Indeed, an important step. But we regret to inform you that it is insufficient. Moreover, in absolute terms, the total number of hungry people in the African continent has grown from 182 to 233 million.
As you may know, agriculture has the potential to reduce poverty twice as fast as any other sector and no region in the world has developed without relying on it. That is why, for over a decade, in our winery we try to give a coherent (never paternalistic) response in the search for social justice. Since 2007, we have donated more than €750,000 of our profits to support more than a score of agricultural projects in the Third World that we have strictly supervised, including field visits.
We are proud of that small seed that has returned sincere smiles and much gratefulness for bringing water to dry areas and turning arid areas into fertile land. But we are also proud of having achieved much more. We have collectivised our solidarity with the contribution of many of our shareholders and employees, some of whom also wish to be part of the new Allocation Committee. In addition, we have also seen the rise of similar actions in other wineries. We are eternally grateful to all of them, on behalf of so many people whose lives we have improved.
In 2018, we will enthusiastically donate the €120,000 obtained so far to the projects of the Fundación Alaine in Benin, ICLI Ingeniería para la Cooperación in India, Asociación Zerca y Lejos in Cameroon and Fundación Innovación Social de la Cultura FISC in DR Congo. We still await further contributions from shareholders, employees and related companies and initiatives presented by Medicus Mundi and Fundación Pablo Hortsman through Derandein.
With our most sincere thanks,
Viña Ardanza Solidario