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NGO decries starvation in African countries

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

A non-governmental organization, ‘OXFAM International,’ says about 93 million people in 36 African countries are extremely suffering from hunger.

In this line, there is the need for African leaders, who where meeting in Ethiopia, and family to consider taking measures and display skillfulness and ability for them to tackle hunger and insecurity on the continent.

On this issue, a statement was signed and issued to newsmen in Yola, Adamawa State, recently by the Communications Officer of OXFAM International, Rita Abiodun, urging African leaders to proffer solutions to the worsening hunger militating against the continent.

According to her, five people in the region are under-nourished, while suggesting that the leaders should use the opportunity to look at ways towards proffering lasting solutions amid worsening hunger and malnutrition threatening sustainable development on the continent.

She noted that, “Women and children are hit hardest; adding that, in the sub-Saharan Africa, one in three children under five is stunted by chronic under-nutrition, while two out of five women of childbearing age are anaemic because of poor diets.

“By the UN estimates, food prices in sub-Saharan Africa are now 30-40 percent higher than the rest of the world, taking into account comparative levels of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capital.

“The triple-threat of the climate crisis, Covid-19 and conflict will require an extraordinary response from African leaders,” she stated.

Rita Abiodun revealed that, “Many countries have already taken important steps, increasing investment in healthcare, providing shock responsive social protection systems and empowering local, women-led peace building initiatives. However, such actions are still too few and far between.”

The Pan African Program Director of OXFAM, Peter Kamaling, observed that, people have to skip meals to feed their children, selling livestock and other assets, begging, pulling children out of school or harvesting immature crops.

He said, “Over 3 million people of Somalia have recently migrated, in larger part because of hunger, while millions of households in pastoralist communities in Chad, Benin, Niger, Mali and Mauritania say they have to sell more animals than they otherwise would to pay more food.”

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