food insecurity

UN: Strong Growth Not Ending Africa's Food Crisis

The United Nations (UN) says that sub-Saharan Africa posts economic growth rates higher than the worldwide average but has the planet's greatest food security problems.

UN Development Programme administrator, Helen Clark, point out that, “Impressive GDP growth rates in Africa have not translated into the elimination of hunger and malnutrition.”

“Between 2004 and 2008 African economies grew an average of 6.5 percent a year, only slowing to 2.7 percent in 2009 in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis,” the report read.

NGO Advices Tanzania Against GMO

ActionAid has advised Tanzania against embracing genetically modified Organism (GMO) food products in the country.

The organisation’s agriculture and food security advisor, Elias Mtinda, says that there is a need for the government to make its own decision without being influenced by bigger companies on decisions regarding the approval of the use of GMO food products.

Anti-poverty Group Pushes for G8 Food Deal

ONE Campaign says that leaders of the world's industrial powers should commit to boost agriculture investments in poor countries and end hunger and malnutrition among the poor when they meet outside Washington in May.

A group, co-founded by anti-poverty campaigners and rock stars, Bono and Bob Geldof, released a new report in which it says that increased donor support for agricultural investment plans in 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America could lift about 50 million people out of extreme poverty.

Child Support Grant Works – Patel

South Africa's child support grant is ending up in the right pockets, according to a new study by the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Social Development in Africa.

Director for the Centre for Social Development in Africa, Leila Patel, points out that the child support grant is putting money in women's hands which is used for household expenses and children.

Patel notes that the grants are reaching and empowering the right people, adding that, “Even though the amount per child is very low (R270 per month) the money, for the most part, is being spent on food."

UN Calls for Action Against Food Crisis

A United Nations (UN) expert on food rights has urged the international community to act to prevent a looming crisis threatening several millions of people in west and central Africa.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, points out that, “We must not wait until people are starving in order to act. The world must respond immediately to avert a full-scale food and nutrition crisis."

Speaking during his visit to Ghana, De Schutter warned that the crisis will be triggered by drought, poor harvests and rising food prices.

Famine: UN Calls for Continued Assistance

The top United Nations relief official says that international humanitarian support in 2011 in the face of drought and famine in the country succeeded in saving numerous lives in Somalia.

However, Mark Bowden, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, warns that the situation remains fragile, with millions of people in need of continued assistance.

"The call for assistance in July 2011 received a tremendous response and we know that over the last year US$1.3 billion was actually raised for Somalia the majority of which has been spent," he explains.

Climate Change Worsen Food Crises

Oxfam says that storms and droughts that have unleashed dangerous surges in food prices could be a ‘grim foretaste’ of what lies ahead when climate change bites more deeply.

In a report issued at the start of United Nations climate talks, the British charity pointed to spikes in wheat, corn and sorghum prices, triggered by extreme weather that had driven tens of millions into poverty over the past 18 months.

Zimbabweans Face Hunger – WFP

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) says more than a million Zimbabweans need food aid and is appealing for US$42 million in donor funding.

In a press statement issued in Harare, the WFP states that families are already skipping meals during the ‘lean season’ expected to end with the March harvest.

It says that poor families, especially households with orphans and vulnerable children, can't afford much of the food that is available, adding that most of that food is imported.

UN Calls for Action on Food Insecurity

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, say the prices for rice, wheat and other key foods are expected to remain volatile and possibly increase.

In their annual report on global food insecurity, the three agencies say poor farmers and consumers, particularly in Africa, will be most affected.

FAO Agricultural and Development Economics Division director, Kostas Stamoulis, says prices are expected to remain higher and more volatile.

Uganda Could be Next, Warns FAO

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that Uganda could be the next country hit by alarming malnutrition rates due to drought which has already sparked famine in southern Somalia and hunger in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

FAO argues that famine has already been detected in drought-hit northern areas of Uganda, adding that an estimated 600 000 people face moderate food insecurity.

FAO’s Sandra Aviles has been quoted as saying that, “Drought conditions need to be monitored because they spread like wildfire."

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