GUEST Editorial

Policy responses to food insecurity in Africa


Luis Gomes Sambo
Regional Director
WHO Regional Office for Africa
Brazaville, Congo

Africa is faced with chronic food insecurity, with attendant effects of consumption of unsafe food and inadequate nutrient intake.  Despite this dire situation, food security, food safety and nutrition are not adequately reflected in national development plans and there is insufficient capacity and resources for interventions.   The impact of adequate, safe and nutritious food on the health status of people remains under-appreciated, resulting in low prioritization for the food safety and nutrition and inadequate financial investment.  According to the latest FAO estimates [1], the increase in food prices between 2007 and 2009 has plunged an additional 24 million people into hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, thus making Africa home to 15 of the 16 countries where the prevalence of hunger exceeds 35 per cent.

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