Africa is Hungry: How Women Can Make a Difference

While some regions around the world battle with increasing obesity, much of Africa continues to experience severe food shortages, as millions of African people suffer daily from hunger. The reality of food shortages in Africa is well-known. So well known, in fact, that the average middle-class fast food eating person is generally unable to feel anything but blasé about it. There are many others, however, who do try to help, and countless organisations and programmes working to provide food for the hungry.

Gates Calls for Focus on Food Security

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has urged for a greater focus on food security.

Speaking at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa, the philanthropist has argued that steps need to be taken to help the world’s poorest farmers boost their yields to not only help themselves out of poverty but also out of hunger.

Gates announced nine new grants totaling US$120 million to support small farmers.

South Africans Stand Up to End Poverty

From 16-18 October, South Africans will join millions of people across the globe in the “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!” Campaign as they call on world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Last year almost 117 million people participated in this annual campaign, the majority from poor countries, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest mobilisation of human beings in recorded history.

Loan Guarantee For Small Farmers

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a green group headed by former United Nations secretary- general, Kofi Annan, plans a loan guarantee facility to leverage a US$1 billion from commercial banks for small African farmers.

The organisation’s vice president, Akinwumi Adesina, points out that the organisation, with a board chaired by Annan, intends to launch the facility to cover a gap in funding for small-scale food producers in Africa.

On Being Poor and the MDGs

The severity of poverty worldwide prompted 189 world leaders in 2000 at the United Nations Millennium Summit to make a promise about the eradication of poverty by the year 2015. These commitments became to be known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Now with six years to go until the MDGs deadline of 2015 and for South Africa five years (as we have identified 2014 – 20 years into our democracy – as our target), we need to assess whether sufficient progress has been made in reaching the goals. This narrative paints a bleak picture.

Africa Urged to Change Policy on Food

The United Nations (UN) food agency says that a recent boost in sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural production indicates a break with the past, but concerted and purposeful policy action is required to maintain the momentum.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes that after decades of decline, sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural sector – 80 percent of which consists of smallholder farmers -- grew more than 3.5 percent in 2008, well above the two percent rate of population growth.

Are the MDGs relevant to South Africa?

For a long time, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) did not mean much to me. In my mind, they seemed like quasi-development goals that were a compromise after years of fighting for a development agenda at a global level. The MDGs did not go far enough in terms of making substantive inroads on poverty and inequality, and the South African context seemed to make them irrelevant. After all, we had our Constitution which committed our citizens and leaders to a far better standard of life than the MDGs could offer.

Child Hunger to Increase Due to Climate Change

Up to 25 million more children will be malnourished in the next 40 years due to climate change, with sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia the worst affected, according to a new report issued on Wednesday.

The report, released by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and detailing the impact of climate change on agriculture, says without climate change about 113 million children under five years of age will be malnourished by 2050.


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