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IGAD warns member States on food insecurity

By William Madouk Garang

The Inter-governmental Authority on Development called on its member states to devise emergency response to the looming food insecurity in a summit held in Nairobi, Kenya on 21st September, 2021 according to a press release circulated by the IGAD Climate Predication and Application Centre (ICPAC).

The member states were moreover obliged to continue monitoring food security and nutrition situation through informed data collection as well as strengthening and supporting peace-building in order to address the root causes of conflict and insecurity in the region.

Workneh Geneyehu, the IGAD Executive Secretary, stressed the need to embark on long-term humanitarian interventions in order to arrive at cost effective development investments targeting the root causes of food crises in the region.

“With the forecast for a drier than usual season from October to December, 2021, we call on our IGAD member state governments, other regional, international, and key stakeholders, to work together in the spirit of multilateralism and global brotherhood to build efficient, effective, inclusive and resilient food systems to mitigate the effects of drought, fend off the possibility of conflict thus supporting durable peace for the people of our IGAD region,” he said.

David Phiri, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) sub-regional coordinator for Eastern Africa said member countries had to exert efforts to support communities and individuals to improve their food and nutrition security not to fall prey to hunger.

“We need to support governments and communities to build resilient and sustainable agri-food systems. Improving the reach of extension services, peace building initiatives and market access, as well timely anticipatory and emergency humanitarian response to crises,” said Phiri.

This came at the launch of the Regional Focus on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states of the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC).

The report pointed out three regional countries which were among the worst hit being Sudan with 9.6 million people in crisis, Ethiopia with 8.6 million, and South Sudan with 6.5 million people in dire need of humanitarian assistance which accounted for close to seventy nine percent of the IGAD regional population levelled to be in worse crisis.

The joint analysis led by the Food Security Information Network under the Global Network Against Food Crises stated that the number of food insecure people had increased from 26.8 million in 2017 to 27 million in 2018, 27.6 million in 2019 excluding Djibouti and up to 31.4 million in 2020.

This was said to be twenty percent of the global 155 million people that faced food insecurity and required urgent action in 2020. As for 2021, 36.7 to 37.2 million people would likely face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above) as a result of conflict, weather extremes, and persistent economic shock including socio-economic effects of Covid-19.

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