African countries must learn to invest and support rural area dwellers to win war against famine, FAO


Experts have warned that serious investment strategies and humanitarian supports must be designed and put to work in order to combat the eventualities of lack of food in some major African countries. This was the crux of the talk, as reported by APO, hosted by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program on the sidelines of FAO’s Conference.

Daniel Gustafson, the Deputy Director – General of FAO stated that “The situation remains extremely dire,” suggesting during his talk that “While we acknowledge progress, we cannot underestimate just how much remains to be done if we are to avert another famine declaration in 2017.”

The ugly side of the story was tabled, highlighting some country where the smoke  hill is really choking. For instance, “in north-eastern Nigeria,” according to APO “conflict and displacement has led to 5.5 million people being severely food insecure.” And that “The current lean season – when households run out of food before the next harvest – is making the situation worse.”

In Somalia, also, about “3.2 million people are severely food insecure, primarily because of drought, and hunger has worsened since the start of the year.” And “In South Sudan, half the population is severely food insecure largely due to conflict, and while famine is being contained the number of people at risk of famine has increased since February.”

In addition, looking at “Yemen, where conflict has disrupted markets and agriculture, 17 million people are affected by severe hunger.” This is why experts clamouring for increased support for rural area dwellers. APO revealed that “by assisting rural people to maintain their livelihoods, they will be able to defend themselves against the worst ravages of drought and recovery will be both faster and cheaper.”

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