Hunger

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.

South Africans to Celebrate World Food Day

16 October is World Food Day and as the 20th World Food Day since the inception of democracy in South Africa, a grim shadow of hunger and malnutrition hangs over the gains of the democratic era.

In his article, Daniel Mclaren argues that while Section 27 of the South African Constitution guarantees the right to have access to sufficient food to all people in our country, a growing body of research on access to sufficient and nutritious food shows that this most basic of rights remains far from being fulfilled for millions of South Africans.

Calls for Renewed Global Push to End Poverty

In the report, ‘Financing Africa’s Future: The Fight Against Poverty’, the ONE campaign laments setbacks in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty around the world and called for a renewed drive to that end.
 
ONE says that some progress has been made, noting that the proportion of people living on less than US$1.25 a day has been halved over the past two decades.
 
The organisation praises such countries as Britain, Japan, Germany, Norway France, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands for increased aid.
 

Fragile States Unable to Meet Citizens Needs

According to Sue George, editor of Guardian Creative, fragile states - low-income countries where the state is weak due to disagreements over its legitimacy or capabilities – are often unable to meet their citizens’ basic needs.
 
According to the World Bank, progress to ending extreme poverty is much slower in fragile states than elsewhere and it estimates that by 2030, 40 percent of the world’s poor will live in states that are fragile or affected by conflict.
 

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