Diamond Trust Bank banner | Coastweek


THE MOST FROM THE COAST !

..


 Coastweek website


XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
FOCUS: UN Food agency chief warns of soaring hunger in Africa

ENTEBBE, Uganda (Xinhua) -- The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Jose Graziano da Silva has warned that there is increasing hunger in Africa due to factors including prolonged drought, floods and conflicts.

Graziano da Silva said this on Thursday while concluding a three day visit to Uganda where he held discussions with the government about advancing sustainable agriculture and strengthening collaboration and strategic partnership for a hunger-free country.

He told reporters here, 40 km south of the capital Kampala, that over the last three years hunger has increased in Africa and yet it is decreasing in other parts of the world.

He said the agency would in about two weeks announce new figures of the hunger situation.

Graziano da Silva was speaking after meeting Uganda’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Vincent Bamulangaki Sempijja.

Sempijja said that although Uganda is not yet facing a food crisis, it faced a shock after it was invaded by the Fall Army Worms which destroyed crops, especially maize.

He said the attack came shortly after the country had undergone a prolonged dry spell which reduced production.

Sempijja added that the influx of South Sudan refugees into the country exerted more pressure on the food situation.

"We would be having a lot of food but we now have over 1.5 million refugees.

"This is a big challenge of top of challenges like drought," he said.

Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in late 2013, more than 1 million refugees have crossed into Uganda. Other refugees are from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi among others.

FAO earlier this year announced that in Africa, famine had broken out in Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan.

Last month, FAO and the World Food Programme in a food security report said the rising violence and displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo was pushing the country to near famine levels.

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification analysis said 7.7 million Congolese face acute hunger - a 30 percent increase over the last year.

To relieve the pressure on Uganda regarding the refugees, FAO said in the last several years it has implemented more than 3 million U.S. dollars’ worth of projects to support the refugees in Uganda.

Some of the support includes providing them with locally-adapted and diversified seeds to grow quick-maturing, high-nutrient foods as well as with kits for livestock treatment, poultry production and micro-irrigation.

During Graziano da Silva’s visit to Uganda, he also signed a memorandum of understanding with the agriculture ministry.

Key issues in the agreement include ensuring food security, creating jobs for women and youths through agriculture and adapting to climate change.
.

EARLIER REPORTS:

FAO to help South Sudan refugees in Uganda boost food production

ENTEBBE, Uganda (Xinhua) -- Visiting Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) chief Jose Graziano da Silvaon Thursday said the agency will continue supporting South Sudan refugees in Uganda to boost their food production.

Jose Graziano da Silva, told reporters here 40 km south of the capital Kampala that it is critical to increase the food production of the refugees in the wake of dwindling supply of humanitarian aid.

He said the UN agency will supply the refugees with quick maturing seeds and equip them with better farming skills.

"Government is giving them a piece of land where FAO provides technical assistance and seeds for them to grow cow peas, maize, beans and vegetables.

"With that they can start to produce at least part of their own food and not only rely on the food assistance," he said.

Silva had just returned from visiting a South Sudan refugee settlement in northern Uganda on Wednesday where he launched a drip irrigation project.

According FAO figures, the agency has in recent years implemented more than 3 million U.S. dollars’ worth of projects to support the South Sudan refugees in Uganda.

Some of the support includes providing them with locally-adapted and diversified seeds to grow quick-maturing, high-nutrient foods as well as with kits for livestock treatment, poultry production and micro-irrigation.

Uganda is host to more than 1 million South Sudan refugees since fighting broke out in the country in late 2013.

Relief agencies say they are grappling with feeding the influx of refugees in the face of dwindling donor support.

The United Nations World Food Programme says it needs approximately 20 million dollars per month to provide food assistance to refugees at full rations.

The food aid agency however cut the rations it gives to some refugees to more than 50 percent because of limited funding.
.

UN food agencies’ chiefs arrive in Ethiopia to observe drought response

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Heads of the three UN food agencies, WFP, FAO, and IFAD, arrived in Ethiopia to highlight the critical food and nutrition security situation in the east African country.

The three chiefs, who are set to commence their joint observation on Friday, are David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the World Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO), and Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The three agency chiefs are expected to hold discussions on how best to strengthen their support to the Ethiopian government’s efforts to continue meeting its development goals while simultaneously addressing humanitarian challenges along the way, according to a joint announcement sent to Xinhua on Thursday.

The Government of Ethiopia and its humanitarian partners had launched the 2017 Humanitarian Requirements Document (HRD) for Ethiopia looking for 948 million U.S. dollars to reach out close to 5.6 million people with emergency food and non-food assistance.

As rains failed for the third consecutive year in southern and southeastern parts of Ethiopia, the worst drought affected areas, the number of Ethiopians who are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance has since then escalated to more than 8.5 million during the second half of 2017.

The agency heads, set to witness first-hand the scale of the crisis during their field mission, are also expected to meet drought-affected people who are receiving food rations and visit nutrition centers treating malnourished children, it was indicated.

The three agency chiefs, during their four days working visit to Ethiopia from September 1 to 4, are also expected to hold discussions with senior Ethiopian government officials, and representatives from the UN agencies and other partner organizations concerning the ongoing life-saving response and the need for greater collaboration and investment in resilience.
.

UN advises building resilience to tackle Ethiopia’s nutrition crisis

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has advised building communities’ resilience as a critical impetus to bring lasting solution to address the current food security and nutrition crisis in Ethiopia.

The statement was jointly made on Thursday by the three UN food agencies that are the World Food Programme (WFP), the world Food and Agricultural Organizations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

"The current food security and nutrition crisis cannot be resolved by emergency assistance alone.

"The longer-term solution lies in building communities’ resilience to better withstand shocks and avoid being plunged back into crisis," the three UN food agencies stressed in a joint statement sent to Xinhua on Thursday.

The three UN food agencies have also affirmed the need to combine efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

"The response led by the Ethiopian government has begun to stabilize the situation, however additional efforts and support is urgently needed to prevent the situation deteriorating further," the joint statement indicated.

The announcement came as the heads of the three UN agencies are expected to pay a four-day joint visit to the east African country starting from Friday, from September 1 to 4, to highlight the critical food and nutrition security situations in Ethiopia.

The three chiefs, David Beasley, WFP’s Executive Director, Jose Graziano da Silva, FAO’s Director-General, and Gilbert F. Houngbo, IFAD’s President, are expected to hold discussions on how best to strengthen their support to the Ethiopian government’s efforts, it was indicated.
.

UN urges world to sustain famine prevention efforts in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The UN relief official on Thursday called on the international community to stay the course and sustain famine prevention efforts in Somalia.

Peter de Clercq, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, expressed concern about the continued threat of famine in Somalia, whilst praising the collective efforts that have so far prevented famine from being declared.

"Through robust humanitarian assistance and the modest benefits from the underperforming Gurains, the situation has stabilized but remains of serious concern at emergency levels," Clercq said at the launch of the latest food security and nutrition assessment results in Mogadishu.

The statement comes after the release of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)-managed Food and Security Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) assessments show a decrease of the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance from 6.7 million to 6.2 million people.

The report says the threat of localized famine countered by scaled-up humanitarian response is as relevant today as it was in the first months of this crisis.

Clercq called on aid agencies to keep up the good work and maintain current efforts to avert a deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

The Horn of Africa nation is experiencing an intense drought, induced by consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and is one of four countries faced by the threat of famine in 2017, including Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.

The Gu harvest will provide temporary relief for some communities in terms of food availability, but the harvest is reduced due to poor rains and access to food remains constrained and prices will remain elevated through at least early 2018.

"Whereas there is a modest decline in the number of people in need, we have seen an increase in the number of persons in the emergency-phase (IPC 4) compared to the previous assessment," Clercq said.

"When we announced the threat of famine in February, the number of people in need stood at 6.2 million and therefore Somalia is unfortunately not yet out of the woods," he added.

Malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations.

The report says some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.

FAO Representative in Somalia, Daniele Donati, said unlike the 2011 famine, this year, drought related displacement occurred mostly in localized areas.

"We must seize the opportunity to support the voluntary return of IDPs, while at the same time preventing new displacements by providing integrated support in rural areas," Donati said.

"We proved that together we can stave off famine with sustained humanitarian assistance.

"In the long term, livelihoods must be restored in order to make lasting improvements to food security - these efforts cannot diminish - neither in speed nor scale."

The Horn of Africa nation experienced the worst famine of the twenty-first century in 2011, affecting an estimated 4 million people, three-quarters of a million of whom faced famine conditions.

The famine resulted in the loss of more than a quarter million lives.
.

United Nations says 6.2 million Somalis facing acute food insecurity

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- An estimated 6.2 million people are facing acute food insecurity in Somalia, a slight decrease from the previously recorded 6.7 million, the UN-backed food security analysis revealed on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-managed Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET) assessments show Somalia is unfortunately not yet out of the woods.

The findings from a seasonal assessment conducted across Somalia in June and July indicate that over 3.1 million people will face crisis or emergency food insecurity through December.

"This represents only a slight improvement in food security compared to the figures projected for April-June 2017, primarily as a result of sustained humanitarian assistance and improved rainfall in localized areas," FSNAU said.

"Additionally, nearly 3.1 million people are classified as stressed.

In total, 6.2 million people across Somalia face acute food insecurity."

The report said Gu harvest will provide temporary relief for some communities in terms of food availability, but the harvest is reduced due to poor rains and access to food remains constrained and prices will remain elevated through at least early 2018.

The report said malnutrition, one of the leading indicators of the crisis, has reached emergency levels in a number of locations in southern and central Somalia, primarily, though not exclusively among displaced populations.

According to FSNAU, some 388,000 acutely malnourished children are in need of critical nutrition support, including life-saving treatment for more than 87,000 severely malnourished children.

Nearly 895,000 internally displaced people due to drought and conflict, on top of the 1.1 million protracted IDPs that predated this crisis, rely exclusively on assistance for basic services and life support.

The report said Deyr (October-December) rains are expected to be average to below average, but levels of acute food insecurity in Somalia will remain high through the end of the year.

Acute and widespread food insecurity and increased morbidity have contributed to further deterioration of the overall nutrition situation in Somalia.

The UN-backed report said scaled-up humanitarian assistance must be sustained in order to prevent further deterioration of food security and nutrition situation of the affected population.

The 2017 Gu rains started late, ended early and were below average in most parts of Somalia.

The Gu season cereal harvest, which is estimated at 78,400 tonnes, is 37 percent lower than the long-term (1995-2016) average.

According to the report, over 701,500 people were displaced due to drought in the first half of 2017.

             

 

Remember: you read it first at coastweek.com !


 

TO ADVERTISE ON THIS WEB SITE:  www.coastweek.com
Please contact

MOMBASA - GULSHAN JIVRAJ, Mobile: 0722 775164 Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130 /
Wireless: 020 3549187 e-mail: info@coastweek.com

NAIROBI - ANJUM H. ASODIA, Mobile: 0733 775446 Tel: (+254) (020) 3744459
e-mail: anjum@asodia.co.ke

 
    © Coastweek Newspapers Limited               Tel: (+254) (41) 2230130  |  Wireless: 020 3549187  |  E-mail: info@coastweek.com