domenica 3 giugno 2012

Food insecurity in Africa

Eastern Africa has abundant agricultural resources, yet shamefully, in all its corners, millions of people remain hungry and malnourished.
For far too long, the face of sub-Saharan Africa has been one of dehumanizing hunger. The specter of famine, which has virtually disappeared in other parts of the world, has continued to ravage the region, despite the fact that it has ample agricultural land, plenty of water and generally a favorable climate for growing food.
In Kenya for example, the president admitted that the country was still miles away from attaining food security and revealed that indeed the number of people dependent on famine relief had actually increases from five per cent in 2003 to six per cent currently. This has been increased by urban population and frequency of droughts.
At least 3.5 million people were last year affected in Kenya by one of the worst droughts to hit the East African Region in 60 years.
The drought mostly affected the counties of Garissa, Marsabit, Isiolo, Tana River, Tharaka, Wajir, Mandera, West Pokot, Samburu, Baringo, Kajiado, Makueni, Kwale, Kilifi and Turkana. But according to the report, the region has abundant agricultural resources, yet shamefully, in all its corners, millions of people remain hungry and malnourished. However, this should not be the case. Kenya and other parts of the Continent should not be consigned to a lifetime of food insecurity. “The knowledge, technology and resources for closing the food security are available today and breakthroughs will continue to emerge from research and development”. The Director of the United Nations Development Programs’ Regional Bureau for Africa has asked the African Countries to stop asking for food as this trend is a major affront to its dignity.
According to the report, Food security can only be achieved in the region through immediate action on four critical areas: they include increasing agricultural productivity, improving the Region’s nutritional awareness, building social protection and safety net programs such as crop insurance and cash transfer scheme. “More productive agriculture will build food security by increasing food availability and lowering food prices, thus improving access.”
However it is disappointing that the impressive growth rates in the Continent has not translated into the elimination of hunger and malnutrition.
Despite the fact that African Countries have in the last 10 years, posted world-beating economic growth rates and have become the fastest movers of the Human Development Index, this has not translated into food security.
The Sub-Saharan African Countries could not sustain their present economic resurgence unless they eliminated the hunger that affected nearly a quarter of their people.
“It’s a harsh paradox that in world of food surpluses, hunger and malnutrition remains pervasive on a Continent with ample agricultural endowments”.
It is time people in the Region understood that Africa is not destined to starve. It will not do so if it puts in place proper policies. Food security issues should be at the centre of the development agenda in the Region.
With more than one in four of its 856 million people undernourished, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s most food –insecure region.
At the moment, more than 15 million people are at risk in the Sahel alone-across the semi-arid belt from Senegal to Chad; and an equal number in the horn of Africa remain vulnerable after last years’s food crisis in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
Hunger and extended periods of malnutrition not only devastate families and communities in the short-term, but leave a legacy with future generations which impairs livelihoods and undermines human development.
Building a food-secure future for all Africans will only be achieved if efforts span the entire development agenda.
However despite all the shortcomings, Kenya has made important strides towards enhancing food security in the country over the last 10 years.
The number of food insecure Kenyans has reduced from 52 percent in 2003 to the current 27 percent.

Source: Daily Nation. Friday May 18, 2012. Article by Dave Opiyo. Pag 17

Nessun commento:

Chaaria è un sogno da realizzare giorno per giorno.

Un luogo in cui vorrei che tutti i poveri e gli ammalati venissero accolti e curati.

Vorrei poter fare di più per questa gente, che non ha nulla e soffre per malattie facilmente curabili, se solo ci fossero i mezzi.

Vorrei smetterla di dire “vai altrove, perché non possiamo curarti”.

Anche perché andare altrove, qui, vuol dire aggiungere altra fatica, altro sudore, altro dolore, per uomini, donne e bambini che hanno già camminato per giorni interi.

E poi, andare dove?

Gli ospedali pubblici hanno poche medicine, quelli privati sono troppo costosi.

Ecco perché penso, ostinatamente, che il nostro ospedale sia un segno di speranza per questa gente. Non ci sarà tutto, ma facciamo il possibile. Anzi, l’impossibile.

Quello che mi muove, che ci muove, è la carità verso l’altro, verso tutti. Nessuno escluso.

Gesù ci ha detto di essere presenti nel più piccolo e nel più diseredato.

Questo è quello che facciamo, ogni giorno.

Fratel Beppe Gaido

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