Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More Food But More Hungry

 Around 16 million people are at risk of going hungry across Africa's Sahel belt next year due to conflicts and rapid population growth, even though the region expects good harvests and rainfall, a senior U.N. official said . Approximately 2 million have already crossed the emergency threshold and need immediate food assistance
Food insecurity in the Sahel next year will increase by 40 percent compared to this year when 11.3 million people had inadequate food and required around $1.7 billion in donor assistance, according to preliminary OCHA data.
"These are the first indicators that the Sahel crisis is getting away from us," said Robert Piper, OCHA coordinator for the Sahel."The numbers are getting bigger even though the harvest this year has been fractionally better than the average over the last five years. Rapid population growth has meant the same amount of food has to feed more mouths. So despite a small increase in overall food production, on average there is 13 percent less food per person," Piper explained. 
Nigeria and Senegal recorded the biggest jump in food insecurity numbers, reporting an increase from 44,000 to 2.4 million and 700,000 to 2.2 million, respectively, said Piper "Food insecurity in Nigeria is partly to do with the conflict in the north, which has been exacerbated since the government called the state of emergency in May,” He went on to say  "However, we need to better understand what went wrong in Senegal. Uneven rainfall patterns, high prices and a poor harvest are part of the explanation. But high food insecurity in the Casamance suggests that the conflict might still impacting,” said Piper.

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