Hunger Report

Young SDG Solution Ambassadors, development partners, and community leaders met in Accra yesterday to deliberate on solutions to achieve Zero Hunger in Africa and across the world.

Young SDG Solution Ambassadors brainstormed over other factors hindering Africa’s progress of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking at the event held as part of activities to celebrate this year’s World Food Day (WFD), the Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Abebe Hiaile- Gabbriel, was confident that Zero Hunger could be achieved.

According to the 2019 report on the state of Food Security and Nutrition published by the FAO, hunger has been on the rise in almost all sub-regions of Africa.

The report also further revealed that undernourished people have been increasing steadily in Africa over the last few years where it reached 256.1 million people in 2018; with a staggering 93 percent (237million) living in sub-Saharan Africa.

“As the African region is grappling with multiple challenges that militate against food security and nutrition, we need to embrace a comprehensive approach oriented to the food chain to address these challenges,” Hiaile- Gabbriel, explained.

According to him, access to healthy foods and nutritious foods is a very big issue as foodborne hazards cause a major number of deaths and numerous illnesses across the African continent.

This he said, with children under five years of age and other vulnerable sections of the population bearing most of the burden.

“We need to recognize that the heart of the development agenda ticks from the elimination of hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

There are no chances of achieving the common vision of a safe, fair, peaceful and prosperous world when perennial hunger and not having access to nutritious and healthy foods mire millions of people in a punishing cycle,” Hiaile- Gabbriel underscored.

Stressing that, the task of eliminating hunger and malnutrition as set out in 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, as well as in the African Union 2025 Malabo Commitment is a race against time towards delivering on targets.

Since hunger and malnutrition remain a large barrier of development in many regions, including Africa. There should really be a sense of urgency for concerted actions by all.

Eliminating all forms of hunger and malnutrition is at the heart of the FAO’s mandate and as the custodian of the SDGs or Zero Hunger supports the efforts of the Members States and partners to improve food security, nutrition and promote healthy diets.

This he said, FAO will harness the power of partnership, hand-in-hand, to buttress impactful concerted actions for a healthy and nutritious diet for all.

The Head of Nutrition Department, University of Ghana, Dr Frederick Vuvor, delivering a technical presentation on healthy diets for a Zero Hunger Ghana, explained that though in some households there is enough food and other resources to enable adequate feeding and care for children.

According to him, malnutrition is rampant because there is a lack of knowledge and appropriate skills leading to wrong decision-making, misplaced priorities and low importance placed on child feeding and care.

He said malnutrition if not checked could affect the development of the brain, cause stunted growth and hinder the entire development of the child.

However, he seized the opportunity to advise everybody to stay away from junk foods or exported food and rather consume locally grown foods since they contain all the nutrients the body required.

This year’s World Food Day (WFD) echoes the collective call of action from all stakeholders which is to make healthy diets available and affordable to all. With the theme-‘Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a Zero Hunger World’

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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