The FAO said 240 million Africans are undernourished.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Saturday in Addis Ababa that 240 million Africans were still undernourished due to the lack of access to adequate food, in spite of increased production.
FAO Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva, made the remarks at the opening of a High Level Meeting with the theme “Toward African Renaissance: Renewed Partnership for a Unified Approach to End Hunger in Africa.”
The meeting was jointly convened by the African Union, the FAO and Brazil’s Lula Institute.
The FAO boss noted that one in every four Africans went to bed without food, adding that the number was on the rise.
According to him, the statistics shows that 40 per cent of the affected persons are children less than five years, in spite of the recent improvement in food supply in Africa over the last 10 years.
He said that the increasing food insecurity underscored the need to intensify effort towards eradicating hunger in Africa.
He said the meeting with all stakeholders including, AU member states, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the private sector, was aimed at designing adequate instruments and mobilising resources toward meeting the 2025 zero hunger target.
Participants in the meeting are expected to commit to a set of principles, policies and strategies, which would feed into the national and regional Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme (CAADP). This is with a view to resolving the hunger challenge by 2025.
The high-level technical session is expected to also prepare documents to be endorsed by the Council of AU ministers of Agriculture to be convened on Sunday in Addis Ababa within the CAADP Framework of zero hunger in Africa in 2025.
The session will also brainstorm on ways to support African countries, their governments and organised civil society to incorporate successful experiences from other countries.
Earlier in her opening remark, Rhoda Peace, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, said the commission was concerned over the spate of hunger ravaging some African countries, in spite of the growth recorded by the continent.
Mrs. Peace pledged the commission’s commitment to ensure the end of hunger in Africa within the targeted period.
“A key objective of the partnership with all stakeholders is to continue to rally high-level political resolve, leadership and commitment among African and international leaders on decisive policies and programmes to eliminate hunger,” she said.
The commissioner said that the meeting was expected to make a declaration expressing political commitment to promote and unify African and international efforts to fight hunger. The declaration is also expected to commit to exchanges in technological development, boost the resistance or resilience of rural communities to rebuild rural livelihoods and assure food security for urban populations.
The meeting attracted representatives of international organisations, experts in Agriculture and food security, private sector and civil society organisations concerned with ending hunger in Africa.