The continent has achieved a 30 per cent drop in the proportion of its people facing hunger over 1990-2015
Despite making tremendous progress in tackling hunger, climate change, internal conflicts and social inequality are continuing as major challenges in Africa’s quest for a zero-hunger generation.
While the overall proportion of food-insecure Africans has dropped, “significant variations” can be seen from country to country, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Director General, José Graziano da Silva, said.
The continent has achieved a 30 per cent drop in the proportion of its people facing hunger over 1990-2015.
“Africa’s economic performance remains robust with growth rates above the global average. However, vulnerability to climate change is high, post-harvest losses are considerable, natural resources are being depleted, and not everyone is benefiting from the proceeds of the current strong economic growth,” the FAO DG added.
Graziano da Silva urged people to continue to work together to harness the power of the food and agriculture sector as a catalyst to bring about inclusive growth, reduce poverty and fight hunger.
He was speaking at the official opening of the FAO’s Regional Conference for Africa in Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The conference’s theme—Transforming African Agri-food Systems for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity—mirrors the vision of the African Union.
El Niño and other crises pose challenges
The FAO DG highlighted climate change and conflict as the two major challenges for Africa. The ongoing El Niño is affecting large parts of the continent, especially the southern sub-region as well as parts of East Africa, notably Ethiopia and Tanzania.
“These crises vividly remind us of the importance of scaling up resilience interventions targeting vulnerable populations whose livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture, livestock, fisheries forestry and other renewable natural resources,” he said.
The DG also pointed out the importance of preventing future epidemics such as Ebola which greatly affected food security and people’s livelihoods in West Africa.
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