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Posted by eaminews | Posted on 22 May 2012
By Dennis Lubanga
All African countries have been called upon to shun begging for good aid from Western nations as it is an affront to their dignity.
In a report titled, United Nations Africa Human Development 2012, Africa is reported to have ample land, water and favourable climate to grow its own food.
The report launched at the UN offices in Gigiri Nairobi by President Mwai Kibaki also says that Sub-Sahara African had done poorly in the fight against malnutrition, with more than one in every four Africans undernourished.
‘‘Food security could only be achieved through instant action in four critical areas which include, raising farm output, improving nutritional awareness, building social protection and safety net programmes such as crop insurance and cash transfer schemes,’’ stated the report.
African governments have also been by the report to enhance the capacity of vulnerable groups like women, who play a major role in food production.
Dr. Tegegnework Getto, Director of the UNDP’s regional bureau for Africa as well as Ms Helen Clark, a former New Zealand Prime Minister who were also in attendance at the launch said that they were disappointed the impressive GDP growth rates that had not been translated into eliminating of hunger and malnutrition.
‘‘It’s a harsh paradox that in a world of food supplies, hunger and malnutrition remain pervasive on continent with ample agricultural endowments,” said Mr. Getto in a summary of the report findings.
“Misguided policies, lack of political commitment and weak institutions are to blame for failure to attain food security. It is time people in the region understood Africa is not destined to starve…it will not if it puts in place proper policies,” he added.
The head of state said that Kenya has made important strides towards enhancing food security in the last ten years, leading to reduction in the number of food-insecure Kenyans.
‘‘These have reduced from 52 percent in 2003 to the current 27 percent,” he said.
Kibaki regretted that more people had become dependent to famine relief due to a growing urban population and drought.
He applauded the new reforms bearing fruit in the agricultural sector despite the report ranking Kenya as one of the countries at high risk of food insecurity.
The report is expected to act as an eye opener to the African states in a bid to catapult more efforts in advancing food security in the continent.
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