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[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---

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