|[Published: Saturday July 04 2009]
UN calls on governments not forget food crisis in Africa amid global economic woes
New York, 2 July. - (ANA) – In order to highlight the need to keep the
food crisis affecting Africa from being forgotten as governments focus
on tackling the global economic downturn, a meeting addressed by
personalities such as UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi,
and David Nabarro, Coordinator for the Global Food Security Crisis and
Avian and Pandemic Influenza, as well as several experts has been
convened by the governing body of the United Nations trade and
development agency in Geneva.
According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, food security
is still a major concern in many African countries, despite the fact
that the food crisis is not making the headlines it did last year.
About a third of Africa’s population – over 300 million people -
continue to face chronic hunger, partly because of the prices of staple
foods that remain above their long term average, the agency said in an
information note. Ensuring food security in the region will require
improving productivity and rural livelihoods, as well as addressing
global market imbalances.
UNCTAD said that many countries have changed from being net food
exporters to net food importers by decades of neglect, both national
and international, of the African agricultural sector, leaving=2
vulnerable to price swings and variations in global crop yields.
African countries currently import about 25 per cent of their food.
“The vulnerability of the continent to serious food shortages and
hunger remains, since the root causes have not been resolved, and a
repeat of the 2008 food crisis can recur if prices for such staples as
rice, wheat, corn, and cooking oil climb again on world markets,” said
the agency. (ANA)
SL/ANA/30 June 2009---