8th March 2021
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issues a report entitled “Food Crisis in African Coast Countries”
On Monday 8th March, the unit of African studies at the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issues a report entitled “Food Crisis in African Coast Countries”. The report sheds light on food crisis suffered by African Coast Countries and threatens their security despite there are problems which threaten each country separately. The report emphasized that this crisis is not the product of the current era, yet the countries of African Coast have lived this crisis before especially the countries of Central African Coast, since there are more than 2 million people in need of urgent food aid. However; some countries of the world tarrying from helping those countries, and some countries do not even pay attention to them.
The report discusses a number of axes as follows:
- Deteriorated educational level as the African Coastal Countries are outside the global ranking for education and intellectual and technological renaissance. In addition, peoples are now withdraw their children from schools and reduce their meals which led to diseases.
- In addition, with the deterioration of health condition, the number of deaths has dramatically increased. The world does not have mercy upon these countries, yet corona pandemic was the inescapable real catastrophe with lack of awareness, lack of medical aid and deteriorated climate condition which led to the outbreak of COVID-19 and death of many Africans. The report assures that the food crisis is not the product of the current era and has not been come out from nowhere as the food crisis goes to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in all countries all over the world especially the countries of north and east Africa and countries of east and central Asia. But the catastrophe has started to invade Africa which is the more affected by such crisis since the middle of 22ndC according to history. The short and sudden climate change has led to decreased rainfalls for many decades of drought. The food crisis in Africa has include Niger in 2005 and 2006, the most famous of which is Al Sahel starvation in 2010 when many regions have exposed to harms and damages such as the region of Senegal River, Mauritania, Mali and Sudan. The main reason behind this starvation was the drought in east Africa in 2011 since lack of rainfalls for two consecutive seasons led to the worst drought in east Africa all over 60 years. However; the drought was not the only reason behind the starvation problem since there are many other reasons among which are war, inflation, failure of agricultural season, population imbalance, deaths increase and epidemics outbreak.
As the reasons behind lack of food in African Coastal Countries:
The report draws attention that the reasons behind lack of food in African Coastal Countries are reduced agricultural production, high population growth rate, inefficient and unqualified systems and policies of food distribution, low income, increase of oil prices and epidemics outbreak. Also the report points out that the food crisis has not finished yet as on 16th October 2020 the World Food Program – in regard to the region of Central Coast of Africa which includes Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – assures that this region faced dangerous food crisis with about 11.000 people who are one step away from starvation especially in some part in north of Burkina Faso. In addition, the program emphasized that two territories in Burkina Faso are in the stage of humanitarian emergency because of lack of food security and that the damaging floods added to the crisis of starvation in the region as water has flooded fields and damaged houses and all ways of living and that the number of victims reached more than half million people in Niger and 100.000 people in Burkina Faso.
As for phenomena of food crisis and its impact on development in the African Coastal Countries
The report says that these starvations affected development in these countries even after the end of colonization when people were used to gain money and disregard the human rights and as a result of greed there were starvations, ignorance and terrorism. Although the countries of Coastal Africa produce what is enough for their population and make them away from starvation, yet governments of abroad countries support these starvations, so that these countries are now away from development phenomena.
Food crisis in the African Coastal Countries according to UN and FAO Reports
The report highlights what the Global Network against Food Crises points out in regard to the most recent numbers about cases of hunger and malnutrition in 2019 that there are 183 persons who suffer from severe lack of food security and that 17 million children are suffer from slimness and physical weakness. This is in accordance with statistics of 55 countries which suffer from food crisis. According to the reports South Sudan occupied the third grade among the most ten countries which suffer from lack of food and malnutrition in 2019 while north Niger occupied the ninth grade where the ratio reaches 5 million people while it reaches 7 million in South Sudan. Now parts in north and east of Burkina Faso live a state of food insecurity. Among the main reasons are war outbreak and harsh climate.
The report concludes a number of recommendations as follows:
- Raise efficiency of agricultural production through supporting small farmers and provide him with his agricultural needs of seeds, fertilizers and inserting modern technology means to contribute to modern agriculture.
- Raise food and agricultural awareness among different categories by enabling civil organizations to help them on cultural and educational level.
- Put plans to help the most vulnerable categories who lost their jobs because of closing so that they can get enough and safe food.
- International African cooperation: it is possible to establish a committee to undertake certain tasks i.e. to select 3 or 4 countries about to die and communicate with other committees to put on a ‘well-done’ plan to secure these countries in addition to communicating with international organizations for supplies for these countries and communicating with governments of these countries and all types of civil organizations to discuss the plan and start the actual support in these countries.
- Involve technological means and mechanisms so that the state can control food goods and do not leave them for greedy merchants in addition to monitoring missing goods in the state and how to provide them and the possibility of providing alternatives to these missing goods.
- Ending colonial exploitation and support farmers by getting the ‘lion’s’ share of the proceeds.