food insecurity

IFAD Grant to Boost DRC Smallholder Farmers

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide a US$68.4 million grant to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers in the western part of the country.

The grant agreement for the Kinshasa Food Supply Centre Support Programme was signed by the country’s vice minister of finance, Roger Shulungu Runika.

Although the country exported agricultural products prior to its independence in 1960, the sector has seen a steady decline and stagnation since.

Lesotho Struggles to Feed its People

Lesotho, grappling with food shortages, is banking on South Africa to make good on its pledge to assist its landlocked neighbour.

Lesotho is in the throes of a food crisis, the result of weather shocks including flash floods and drought over the past two years.

South Africa undertook to assist the mountain kingdom following a visit by Prime Minister, Tom Thabane, last month. However, the amount and extent of the pledge is not yet known.

African Farmers Can End Food Insecurity - WB

A new World Bank report states that Africa’s farmers can potentially grow enough food to feed the continent and avert future food crises, if countries remove cross-border restrictions on the food trade within the region.

The bank maintains that the continent could also generate an extra US$20 billion in yearly earnings if African leaders can agree to dismantle trade barriers that blunt more regional dynamism.

Southern Africa Food Insecurity Worsen

The United Nations deputy humanitarian head says food shortages are ‘a chronic problem’ in Southern Africa and more than 5.5 million people in eight countries need aid this year, a 40 percent increase compared to 2011.

Catherine Bragg, winding up a five-day Southern Africa trip, said worsening food shortages are the result of drought or floods and rising world food prices.

Massive Food Aid Needed for Malawi - WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched a massive food aid programme in Malawi, distributing the first tons of grains to some 200 000 people in the Southern African nation.

In a press statement, WFP states that, “So severe is the situation that an estimated 1.6 million Malawians will need food assistance in (the) coming months, eight times as many as during the last lean season.”

FAO Calls for G20 Action on Food Prices

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says the world's top farm producers in the Group of 20 countries must agree on a coordinated action to ease worries about food prices, as FAO and other experts bemoan a huge global waste of food and water.

 FAO director-general, Jose Graziano Da Silva, says that he will not characterise the current food price rise as a crisis, but it could reach that level next year if harvests in the southern hemisphere were disappointing.

SADC Faces Food Shortage

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have been warned of an impending food shortage as a result of poor rains this season.

SADC executive secretary, Tomaz Salomao, says that the region will experience an overall cereal deficit of 5.5 million tonnes.

Salomao says that, "This will therefore result in an increase in the number of people requiring humanitarian assistance in terms of food and non-food intervention."

WFP Appeals for Funds to Avert Hunger in Zimbabwe

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for US$87 million to avert starvation in Zimbabwe’s rural areas where close to two million people need food aid.

The UN agency says because of poor rainfall, this year's hunger season in Zimbabwe has started earlier than in the past.

Liliana Yovcheva of the WFP programme office in Zimbabwe says her organisation is facing an US$87 million deficit as it tries to ease the food shortage, adding that, “This year, the needs are much higher than in the last three years."

1.6m People in Need of Food Aid in Zim – WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that the number of people needing food aid in Zimbabwe will rise by 60 percent this year to 1.6 million.

The organisation says that a poor farming season this year is blamed on erratic rainfall and limited access to seeds and fertilisers, which prompted Finance Minister Tendai Biti to cut the 2012 growth forecast to 5.6 percent from 9.4 percent.

UN Urges Africa to ‘Stop Begging for Food’

The United Nations (UN) has warned that sub-Saharan African nations will not be able to sustain their accelerated economic growth unless they eliminate hunger.

In its latest report ‘African Development Report’, the United Nations Development Programme administrator, Helen Clark, points out that many sub-Saharan economies are growing fast but the growth rates have not translated into significant hunger reduction.

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