About 239million people in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition a senior official of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said.
According to Marina Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of FAO, who was speaking on the sidelines of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, the problem hugely has to do with conflict.
“239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering from hunger and malnutrition…The only way we can bring it to zero is through peace and security. Let us silence the guns by working hand in hand for peace and development,” she said.
According to Semedo, the problem is already on the radar of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have put in several key targets including dramatically reducing the high number of sub-Saharan Africans suffering from poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
“SDG aims at accelerating progress towards eradicating poverty as well as ending hunger and malnutrition by tapping into the under-supported potential of agriculture to boost individual countries efforts to achieve the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”
She also said, the United Nations is implementing efforts to reduce rural poverty by raising the incomes of the rural poor.
On his part, Josefa Sacko, AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union said new ideas are needed to end the ongoing challenges of hunger and poverty.
“Two intertwined challenges of our time keep persisting on the continent. It’s time to admit that business as usual and doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result defeats the tents of wisdom,” said Sacko.
He similarly emphasized that ending various conflicts in the African continent is crucial if the food security goals across the continent are to be realized.
“We need to creatively find the common ground and common mechanism for addressing the nexus between conflict and food security,” Josef Sacko said.