Hunger

High Food Prices Leave Millions Hungry

After 20 years of democracy, 14 million citizens still go to bed hungry every night, while less than half the number of households in the country consistently have enough food to eat.

According to James Jonas, spokesperson for the Food Sovereignty Campaign, an organisation that provided the statistics, South Africans are starving partly because of exorbitant food prices.

Oxfam Designs Strategies to Develop Africa

Oxfam, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has announced its upcoming developmental strategies to ensure good health, water, sanitation and better livelihood among the needy and vulnerable in Africa.

Oxfam West African Regional Director, Aboubacry Tall, points out that the organisation has plans to ensure that the poor and needy had access to food, clothing, shelter, potable water, good health care and education in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Standard of Living Better in SA: Stats SA

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) poor South Africans enjoy a better standard of living compared to their counterparts in many other countries.

The latest figures released by Statistics South Africa puts the country's extreme poverty line at R26 a day per person.

This is almost double the international line for extreme poverty, at about R14 per day. Lack of proper housing, malnutrition and hunger are some of the characteristics of poverty.

Growing Poverty in South Africa

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says the number of South Africans living in poverty has increased since 2010.

Statistician general, Pali Lehohla, states that in 2010, 20 percent of South Africa's population fell below the poverty line.

Lehohla, who maintains that poverty has increased to 21.5 percent in 2014, adds that, "The same is true for the austere poverty line, which stipulates the threshold below which one has to sacrifice some food to obtain some basic non-food items."

Call for Progress on Climate Change and Poverty

Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, says almost one billion more people will face a life of extreme poverty unless world leaders make progress on poverty and climate change at two crucial summits this year.

Tutu is backing ‘action/2015’, a campaign which was launched by 1 000 groups - representing interests ranging from human rights and the environment to development and health - to put pressure on governments ahead of a United Nations summit in September 2014.

Child Grants Likely to Extend to 23 Years

Talks are under way in government to possibly extend child grants for needy children from 18 years of age to 23.

According to City Press newspaper, the proposal has been met with mixed reaction, with some roleplayers welcoming it and others questioning the timing of the move and saying that such a step will make people that much more dependent on government.

Lumka Oliphant, spokesperson for the minister of social development, Bathabile Dlamini, responded to enquiries by saying no policy decision had yet been taken, but Dlamini had begun talks about the issue.

Policies Lift Millions Out of Poverty

The World Bank says South Africa's fiscal policies lifted 3.6 million people out of poverty in 2010/11.

The South African Economic Update, found that South Africa's fiscal policies are cutting the rates of poverty and inequality, and that tax and social benefits are effectively redistributing income from rich to poor.

World Bank economist, Catriona Purfield, points out that, "We find that fiscal policy is very progressive in South Africa - it benefits the poor more than the rich."

Africans Worst Affected by Undernourishment

Africa is lagging behind in tackling hunger with reports showing that over 25 percent of Africa’s population suffer from acute undernourishment.

According to the 2014 Hunger Map and a report titled the ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World: Strengthening the Enabling Environment for Food Security and Nutrition’ jointly prepared by World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the number of hungry people has fallen by over 200 million since 1992.

Call to Tackle Poverty, Unemployment

Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, has warned that people will rise up if there is no change in the levels of inequality, unemployment and poverty in South Africa.

Speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference in Johannesburg, Zulu pointed out that, "When the people that have been struggling for many, many years find that the gap between the poor and the rich keeps on expanding, one day they will get up and say enough is enough…”

Call for a Realistic Approach to End Hunger

Oxfam says that a more holistic and integrated approach needs to be developed to end the scourge of hunger in South Africa. 

Oxfam Economic Justice Campaign manager, Rashmi Mistry, says that according to the report ‘The Hidden Face of Hunger in South Africa’, low incomes, rising costs, a lack of access to productive resources and climate change are amongst the reasons causing 13 million people to go to bed hungry.

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