Africa: Bad management puts 38 million at risk

38 million people are at risk of starving to death in Africa, due to colossal mismanagement by their governments and the international community, claims a UN report presented to the Security Council on Tuesday.

James Morris, the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), declared in his statement to the Security Council that starvation is “not inevitable” but to take measures to prevent is would require “difficult political choices both by the governments of the African states themselves and by the international community.

Due to a lack of funding, the WFP is acting as an emergency supplier of food in stop-gap operations, rather than its original intention, an organism to direct long-term policies of investment in agricultural products and developing strategies in international trading to help the poorer nations finance their own projects.

The causes outlined in the UN report are stated as being climate change, AIDS, which has deprived rural areas of many workers, ethnic and political violence and overstretched economic systems. What is needed is sustained funding from the international community as a whole and the development of long-term projects to help Africa feed itself. At present, too much emphasis is placed on the USA, which last year provided 62% of all the world’s food aid programmes.

To date, the WFP has received just over half of the 511 m. USD needed to finance Africa’s immediate food requirements. While the developed world continues its practice of food subsidies, enabling rich farmers to carry on producing food at low costs, while imposing tariffs on foreign goods, the farmers from poorer countries will never have the chance to market their products on a sustainable level, providing a constant supply of wealth to help them invest in development schemes.


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