Conflict, climate change major challenges behind Africa’s hunger, poverty: UN
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 28, 2018 (AltAfrika)– UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Saturday that conflict and climate change are the major reasons behind Africa’s highest rate of poverty and hunger.
Guterres, while addressing a high-level event on “Ending Hunger in Africa” on the sidelines of the 30th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia, said that Africa, with highest rate of hunger in the world, needs to eradicate conflict and climate change so as to end hunger.
“World hunger is on the rise, and Africa has the highest rate of hunger in the world,” Guterres said, adding “Agriculture and livestock productivity in Africa is under threat and this is largely due to conflict and climate change.”
Guterres, who noted that hunger cases were twice as high in conflict affected countries, said “climate shocks, environmental degradation, crop and livestock price collapse, and conflict are all inter-linked.”
According to him, majority of under-nourished people in Africa live in countries affected by conflict.
He also urged stronger commitment from African governments, AU, and the UN to promote peace and human rights in a bid to eradicate poverty and hunger.
The Secretary-General also argued that promoting peace and human rights in Africa had the potential to create sustainable development and serve as an instrument to fight hunger.
“During conflict and crisis, we still need to assist people most at risk of hunger and malnutrition and to support them to lead more resilient livelihood,” Guterres said.
Preventive interventions to break the link between food insecurity and conflict through price stabilization measures and social protection interventions are also indicated as priority areas to end hunger in the continent.
Improved governance that can deliver equitable services, social protection measures, gender equality and community based approaches are also advised in building sustained peace and eradicating hunger and poverty in Africa.
“Climate change adaptation should be promoted as an integral part of poverty prevention, with especial attention to sustainable agriculture and pastoralist and semi-pastoralist livelihoods,” he said.
Alpha Conde, President of Guinea and the current Chairperson of the AU, also indicated that hunger and poverty are affecting Africa’s population and their quality of life.
“This is very much in contradiction with our aspiration for the development of our continent,” he said.
Conde also urged investment in sustainable development and animal resources to promote food security, improve living standard of people and stability of the continent.