Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa
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Issues Affecting Food Security in East and Central Africa
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UGANDA | Biofortification is here to give hope to African Malnourished

UGANDA | Biofortification is here to give hope to African Malnourished | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...Biofortification can mitigate the effects of vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in people, reports HarvestPlus, a research centre committed to fighting global hunger. Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates provides financial support to HarvestPlus. The organization further notes that VAD is a serious health problem in more than 90 countries but more acutely in Africa and Asia. The deficiency causes preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections. It also causes night blindness in women and increases the risk of maternal mortality...

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The Right to Food: An Interview With Hilal Elver

Hilal Elver is the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. She grew up in Turkey, where she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Ankara Law School and began her teaching career. Her expertise was soon pressed into government service when the Turkish government appointed her as the founding legal advisor to the Ministry of the Environment. Later, they asked her to serve as the General Director of Women's Status.

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ETHIOPIA | The Great Ethiopian Famine of 1984 Remembered

ETHIOPIA | The Great Ethiopian Famine of 1984 Remembered | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

ANALYSIS By Alemayehu G. Mariam


There is famine in Ethiopia in 2014, but it is known by other fancy names

With the connivance of the 'international community' and a phalanx of aid people, successive Ethiopian regimes have succeeded to hide the reality of famine facing millions of its people every year. The regimes have also prevented critical interrogation of the political dimensions of these recurrent food crises.


Famine in Ethiopia is a topic that horrifies me. Over the years, I have written long commentaries on the subject often challenging with incontrovertible facts the fabricated and false claims of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front and its late leader Meles Zenawi that there has been no famine in Ethiopia since they took power in 1991. Of course, there has been famine in Ethiopia every year since 1991. They just don't call famine, famine. They have fancy names for it like "extreme malnutrition", "severe under-nutrition", "extreme food shortage", "catastrophic food shortages" and other clever misnomers. However, famine in Ethiopia sugarcoated with fancy words and phrases is still famine!....

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KENYA | Unilever partners with WFP to tackle hunger | WFP

Unilever’s partnership with WFP will also support smallholder farmers in Kenya with expertise to improve crop quality and yields.


WFP Country Representative in Kenya Ronald Sibanda said the partnership with Unilever will have an immediate impact on the lives of children and on communities in Kenya.


An educated workforce is critical for development of any country and a regular nutritious meal at school acts as a magnet to get children into the classroom, and helps keep them in school, “ Sibanda said.


The UN food agency has been responding to food insecurity in Kenya through three separate initiatives—school meals, food assistance to refugees, and food or cash for people working on resilience projects that prevent soil erosion and rehabilitate farmland.


WFP, which has been working with the private sector and governments, said it is building the capacity in developing countries to produce home-grown solutions to hunger, such as the highly nutritious supplementary food products for children.

The UN agency said it’s rapidly increasing the number of children and new mothers who receive new nutritionally enhanced food products.


Statistics show that around one in nine people in the world—many of them children—do not receive enough food and nutrition to lead a healthy life and build strong futures. Along with providing the right nutrition, WFP school meals act as a powerful incentive to children who don’t attend lessons into school.


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How insects could feed the world

How insects could feed the world | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...Insect meal could also replace some of the expensive ingredients, such as soybeans and fishmeal, that are fed to farm animals, potentially lowering the cost of livestock products and freeing up feed crops for human consumption. As an added bonus, bugs can be fed with food scraps and animal manure, so insect farms could increase the world’s supply of protein while reducing and recycling waste...


Officials at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) became interested in the role of insects in food security about a decade ago, after documenting the significant part that insects play in central African diets. Since then, the FAO has been commissioning studies, issuing reports and arranging small meetings on eating insects. The gathering in Ede, jointly organised by the FAO and Wageningen University and Research Centre, is the culmination of all these efforts – the first big international conference to bring together entomologists, entrepreneurs, nutritionists, chefs, psychologists and government officials. They are here to discuss how to expand the use of insects as food and feed, particularly in the west, and to lay the foundation for an edible insect industry – to review the science, identify the obstacles and talk about how to progress...

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Fame of Maasai not met with good fortune when it comes to child health

Fame of Maasai not met with good fortune when it comes to child health | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Maasai child being measuredIn the first in-depth study of its kind of the Maasai people of Tanzania, research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has revealed that the health of Maasai children is very poor compared to neighbouring ethnic groups.

The new research, published in PLOS ONE, shows that four out of five Maasai households face severe food insecurity and nearly 60% of Maasai children are physically stunted, indicating chronic malnourishment. In contrast, less than 50% of households experienced severe food insecurity and only around 20-40% of children were stunted in all other ethnic groups surveyed. Maasai children were also more frequently reported to have illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhoea, and to have inadequate diets.

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Seasonal Drought in the Greater Horn of Africa and Its Recent Increase during the March-May Long Rains

This paper provides a review of atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature conditions that are associated with meteorological drought on the seasonal time scale in the Greater Horn of Africa.


This paper provides a review of atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature (SST) conditions that are associated with meteorological drought on the seasonal time scale in the Greater Horn of Africa (the region 108S-158N, 308-528E). New findings regarding a post-1998 increase in drought frequency during the March-May (MAM) "long rains" are also reported. The period 1950-2010 is emphasized, although rainfall and SST data from 1901-2010 are used to place the recent long rains decline in a multidecadal context. For the latter case, climate model simulations and isolated basin SST experiments are also utilized...


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UN's Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge

UN's Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Spearheading a high-level delegation of global and regional leaders in a visit to the Horn of Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced a new $8 billion development initiative aimed at boosting economic growth, reducing poverty and spurring business activity across the African region's eight countries.


The announcement came as the Secretary-General touched down in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the start of a joint trip uniting the capacities of the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, Islamic Development Bank, and African Development Bank and targeting a swathe of countries in the Horn of Africa, spanning Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.



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How Cassava Could Boost Food Security

How Cassava Could Boost Food Security | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

As the World Food Day is just concluded, the Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre (TFCN) has published a cassava recipes book in its bid to boost food security, incomes of farmers and small-scale processors and increase employment opportunities for large numbers of people in rural and urban areas in East and Southern Africa countries....

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WFP Launches Major Study Into Brazil's Success In Buying From Smallholder Farmers

JOHANNESBURG - The World Food Programme's Centre of Excellence against Hunger is launching a research initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to analyse Brazil's success in linking smallholder farmers with government demand for farmed food.
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New Africa-wide programme to boost seed sector

novel plan for the development of a vibrant, market oriented and pluralistic seed sector in Africa has been launched recently in Nairobi, Kenya, to provide smallholder farmers access to quality seed.


In a statement released by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), access to quality seed is identified as a great challenge for smallholder farmers across Africa.


According to the FAC statement, this affects their agricultural productivity, income and resilience. The stakeholders note that addressing this challenge is a complex task and cannot be done at national levels alone, it will use an Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) approach to address the challenges.

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Ebola 'could become airborne': United Nations warns of 'nightmare scenario' as virus spreads to the US

Ebola 'could become airborne': United Nations warns of 'nightmare scenario' as virus spreads to the US | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it
There is a ‘nightmare’ chance that the Ebola virus could become airborne if the epidemic is not brought under control fast enough, the chief of the UN’s Ebola mission has warned.
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Women are the guardians of food security

Women are the guardians of food security | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Women farmers may be the pillars of African agriculture and the African economy, but they would better placed to contribute to poverty eradication if they were given the right opportunities and mechanisms.


These were the opinions of Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, director of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), as she spoke to an audience during the “Empowerment of women and youth for improved productivity” side event of the 6th FARA Africa Agriculture Science Week in Accra, Ghana. Dr. Sibanda notes that women are the guardians of food security in Africa, but they are still marginalized in business relations and have minimal control over access to resources such as land, improved seeds, fertilizer, credit and technology....

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ICN2 | Second International Conference on Nutrition | 19-21 November, Rome

ICN2 | Second International Conference on Nutrition | 19-21 November, Rome | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) is an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation.

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Cultivating Nutritious Food Systems: Stories from East Africa

Watch as we profile several organizations and individuals working in East Africa to bring nutritious local foods to their communities. These stories are snapshots from GAIN's first of a series of Snapshot Reports, Cultivating Nutritious Food Systems.

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Gates foundation spends bulk of agriculture grants in rich countries

Gates foundation spends bulk of agriculture grants in rich countries | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Most of the $3bn (£1.8bn) that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given to benefit hungry people in the world’s poorest countries has been spent in the US, Britain and other rich countries, with only around 10% spent in Africa, new research suggests.


Analysis of grants made by the foundation shows that nearly half the money awarded over the past decade went to global agriculture research networks, as well as organisations including the World Bank and UN agencies, and groups that work in Africa to promote hi-tech farming.

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No more rotten crops: six smart inventions to prevent harvest loss

No more rotten crops: six smart inventions to prevent harvest loss | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it


Post-harvest losses are estimated to remove as much as 50% of crops from the food supply in developing countries. Moisture, infestation and rotting are major problems for farmers and processors, leading to reduced income and aggravating hunger.


Research and private sector organisations are coming up with solutions to combat post-harvest losses.

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At least 3 mln in Somalia in need of aid - UN Secretary General

At least 3 mln in Somalia in need of aid - UN Secretary General | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

At least three million people in Somalia need humanitarian aid and the country is threatened with famine, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.


The United Nations said in September more than a million people in the war-ravaged Horn of Africa country were struggling to meet daily nutritional needs.

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Scale of Ebola epidemic in Guinea forces WFP into uncharted territory | WFP

Scale of Ebola epidemic in Guinea forces WFP into uncharted territory | WFP | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

The World Food Programme (WFP) is facing an unprecedented challenge in Guinea as it struggles to halt the spread of the Ebola, feed more than 350,000 people and protect the progress made in tackling chronic child malnutrition over recent years, a senior official has warned.


Elisabeth Faure, WFP’s Guinea director, said the scale of the epidemic was forcing the organisation to operate far beyond its core emergency mission of getting $25m (£15.5m) of food to at least 353,000 people.


As well as distributing the food, she said, the programme was now being called on to help build Ebola treatment centres, move aid workers around the country and provide emergency communications.


http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/oct/30/ebola-epidemic-guinea-wfp-uncharted-territory

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Leaders Commit Billions in Major New Development Initiative for the Horn of Africa

Leaders Commit Billions in Major New Development Initiative for the Horn of Africa | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

Leaders of global and regional institutions today begin an historic trip to the Horn of Africa to pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the region, totaling more than $8 billion over the coming years.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the World Bank Group (WBG) President, Jim Yong Kim, as well as the President of the Islamic Development Bank Group and high level representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, the African Development Bank, and Intergovernmental Agency for Development (IGAD) are combining forces to promote stability and development in the Horn of Africa.

On the first day of the joint trip, the World Bank Group announced a major new financial pledge of $1.8 billion for cross-border activities in a Horn of Africa Initiative that will boost economic growth and opportunity, reduce poverty, and spur business activity.


The initiative covers the eight countries in the Horn of Africa - Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

UN Secretary-General, WBG and IsDBG Presidents, and other Agency Heads Visit Region to Link Peace Efforts with Economic Progress
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Rural people, small holder farmers must be part of hunger solutions

Rural people, small holder farmers must be part of hunger solutions | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

..."If, like Norman Borlaug, our sights are set on feeding those who most need food, we must look to the invisible and the forgotten world, the rural areas of developing countries," Nwanze, president of the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development, delivered a keynote address during the recent World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue.


"This is where more than three-quarters of the world's poorest children, women and men live, and most of the world's hungry."...

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Ethiopia, 30 years after the famine

Ethiopia, 30 years after the famine | Food & Nutrition Security in East Africa | Scoop.it

...To be in Ethiopia is to witness an economic miracle. The country has enjoyed close to double-digit growth for a decade. One study found it was creating millionaires faster than anywhere else on the continent. The streets of Addis Ababa reverberate with hammering from construction workers as the concrete skeletons of new towers and a monorail project rise into the crane-dotted sky. Ethiopia’s government says it is on course to meet most of the millennium development goals and, by 2025, to be a middle-income country.


Yet the frenetic urban expansion has uprooted thousands of farmers while, critics say, those who speak out against it are rounded up and jailed. Of 547 MPs, only one belongs to an opposition party. Activists and journalists describe an Orwellian surveillance state, breathtaking in scale and scope, in which phone conversations are recorded and emails monitored by thousands of bureaucrats reminiscent of the Stasi in East Berlin. The few who dare to take to the streets in protest are crushed with deadly force. Amnesty International has called it an “onslaught on dissent” in the runup to elections next year....


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AGRA initiative to benefit small holder farmers

novel plan for the development of a vibrant, market oriented and pluralistic seed sector in Africa has been launched recently in Nairobi, Kenya, to provide smallholder farmers access to quality seed.

In a statement released by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), access to quality seed is identified as a great challenge for smallholder farmers across Africa.

According to the FAC statement, this affects their agricultural productivity, income and resilience. The stakeholders note that addressing this challenge is a complex task and cannot be done at national levels alone, it will use an Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) approach to address the challenges.

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Smallholder Farmer a Vital Cog

THERE is growing consensus, though tenuous, that agriculture is key, or at least for now, is still key to the development of the African continent.


...The African Union enjoins Governments to allocate at least 10 percent of their budgets to agriculture, a humongous task given the competing demands for funding from overstrained revenues.


In a fair and rational world, the consensus on the efficacy of the smallholder farming sector should make it easy for governments, individuals, banks and multinational corporations to raise the necessary funds to maximise the productivity of the struggling farmers, not only to meet their immediate food requirements but to also feed into the national stock bank and still leave something for exports. That should in the end improve people's health, self-reliance and obviate the need for imports and food aid.


That's what ought to be. The reality is miles away....


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FAO Urges Europe to Support Nutrition and Sustainable Farming

European governments must help combat hunger and malnutrition on a global level, as failure to do so will only boost migration flows and stoke conflicts, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.


"Food insecurity and conflict go hand in hand" he said, noting that extreme climatic events, troubles in Africa and the Near East and now the Ebola outbreak in West Africa tend to spill over national borders and into other regions in a globalized world, often through forced migration.

"Illegal border crossings are an issue of concern in Europe and other parts of the world," Graziano da Silva said at the informal summit of European Union agriculture ministers in Milan.


"It is our common responsibility to help build alternatives. Sustainable agricultural and rural development in the countries of origin needs to be one of them,"' he added.

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