Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 12, 2005
Report: African famine may worsen
Tens of millions of Africans will continue to go hungry over the next 20 years unless major changes in trade and aid policies are enacted, a report forecasts.
More than 38.3 million children will suffer from malnutrition in 2025 if trends continue, and current policies will do little to improve long-term prospects, the International Food Policy Research Institute predicted in a report.
With millions already suffering from severe food shortages in the semi-arid lands along the Sahara, known as Africa’s Sahel region, the report said the entire continent needed at least $303.2 billion in new investments to reduce hunger.
“Many of the challenges facing Africa’s agricultural sector stem from a few root causes, including poor political and economic governance in many African countries, inadequate funding for the agricultural sector, poor water resources management, and neglect of research and development,” the report said.
The Washington-based institute’s researchers used computer modelling to analyse the effect of different trade, aid and agricultural policies to prepare a forecast for the next 20 years, depending on steps taken at the national and international level.
If there are no significant changes in the current policies, there will only be a small reduction in the percentage of malnourished children in sub-Saharan Africa from 32.8% to 28.2%. But when population growth is considered, the total number of hungry children will actually rise from 32.7 million to 38.3 million. (Al Jazeera)