|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives | Search|
Horn Of Africa Countries Agree On Plan To Battle Hunger
NAIROBI, June 26, 2007 – Africa's next major crisis could hit 20 million people, a delegates to a high-level a conference on the causes of hunger heard Tuesday.
Ministers and government representatives from six drought-prone Horn of Africa countries agreed on a United Nations plan aimed at tackling the problem and on decreasing reliance on emergency food aid.
"The next major crisis could force more than 20 million people into needing emergency assistance" if preventive measures to curb famine were not taken, said a statement issued at the close of a two-day conference in Nairobi.
It was attended by ministers or government representatives of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda as well as officials from the WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization.
"It's possible to change so that we can come out of this cycle of droughts, floods, and so on," said UN special humanitarian envoy to the Horn of Africa Kjell Magne Bondevik.
"It's possible to break this cycle but we cannot only have humanitarian relief for emergencies, it is necessary to increase the food security," the Norwegian diplomat told reporters.
Delegates agreed on measures including support for nomads, combating land degradation and desertification and developing paid work for those in need.
They also agreed that the role of women in rural transformation needed to be reinforced.
According to the UN's World Food Programme, more than 70 million people, nearly half the Horn of Africa's population, face food shortages. The region has been hit by four major droughts in the past six years.
A statement issued by the conference said consultations had produced a list of 170 projects to tackle food insecurity.
They are due to be financed and developed by the six governments over the next six to 12 months.
A follow-up meeting is scheduled to take place in 2008 in Uganda.