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Showing posts with label globally. Show all posts
Showing posts with label globally. Show all posts

Thursday, September 27, 2018

AfDB, partners to lift 1 billion people out of hunger globally - NaijaAgroNet



The African Development Bank called on global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger and said it was leading the way by investing US$24 billion in African agriculture over the next 10 years in the largest such effort ever, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“We are not winning the war against global hunger,” Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told an agriculture conference at Purdue University in Indianapolis on Tuesday, 25 September.

“We must not get carried away,” he added, referring to statistics showing a decline in the global population living on less than two dollars per day. In reality, the number of hungry people in the world had increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, he said citing the latest World Food Security and Nutrition data.

Adesina told the audience that included researchers, implementing organizations, business leaders, policymakers and donors that simple technical and scientific methods were already making a whole difference to farm yields and income in Africa. While such technologies to deliver Africa’s green revolution exist, they are mostly just sitting on the shelves, he said.

“The release of water efficient maize varieties now allows farmers to harvest good yields in the face of moderate drought,” he noted. “Today, rice varieties exist that can give yields of 8 tonnes per ha. Cassava varieties exist with yields of up to 80 tonnes per ha. Heat tolerant and disease resistant livestock and technologies for ramping up aquaculture exist.”

Bank experts put current comparative yields at 1.5-2 tonnes per ha for rice and 10-15 tonnes per ha for cassava.

What was needed urgently was deployment of supportive policies to ensure technologies are cascaded down to millions of farmers. “All Africa needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers and assure lower food prices for consumers.”

The Bank has launched its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a $1 billion initiative to extend the use of farm technologies. TAAT is currently engaging seed companies, public and private entities, and financial institutions in 27 countries to make technology available to a total of 40 million African farmers.

Combining targeted subsidies for farmers with a market-based system for rapidly expanding access to financing for farmers and agricultural value chains is the fastest way to get many people out of poverty to a sustained pathway for economic growth, Adesina added.

The conference on “ Scaling Up Agricultural Technologies for Transformation” (http://bit.ly/2NK3XL5) marked Adesina’s fond return to his alma mater.

“It was here, as a graduate student, that I began the journey of searching for ways to get technologies into the hands of millions of farmers,” he said. Adesina was to go on to make a huge impact on the transformation of agriculture in Africa, including implementing game-changing policies in his years as Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development before taking up his post at the Bank in September 2015.

Adesina said the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa needed particularly urgent intervention due to the ravages of climate change. The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that Africa will add 38 million to its number of hungry people by 2050 as a result of climate change.  The Institute forecasts that Africa will experience major food shortages by 2020 and beyond, while malnutrition will be on the rise over the next 20 years.

The Bank’s ongoing initiatives had the objectives of growing income for farmers, stabilizing prices for staple crops, reducing losses and stimulating multiplier effects in local economies.  With its Staple Crop Processing Zones and other initiatives, the Bank is demonstrating how this can be done.

“The African Development Bank put feeding Africa as one of its topmost priorities when it launched its Feed Africa strategy (http://bit.ly/2Q7A04c) in 2015 and is investing $ 24 billion in agriculture for Africa over 10 years – the largest ever such effort,” the Bank President said. Across Africa, the Feed Africa Strategy (http://bit.ly/2Q9GnUv) is supporting the development of policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions that will ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that technologies reach several millions of farmers.

 Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

UNICEF says new born mortality is alarming globally

The global deaths of newborn babies remain alarmingly high, particularly among the world’s poorest countries, according to the UnitedNations Children Fund (UNICEF), reports NaijaAgroNet.

A new report on newborn mortality by UNICEF with an extract made available to NaijaAgroNet, “Every year, 2.6 million newborns around the world do not survive their first month of life. One million of them die the day they are born.”

Globally, UNICEF noted that in low-income countries, the average newborn mortality rate is 27 deaths per 1,000 births, the report says. In high-income countries, that rate is 3 deaths per 1,000.

“While we have more than halved the number of deaths among children under the age of five in the last quarter century, we have not made similar progress in ending deaths among children less than one month old,” said Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director. “Given that the majority of these deaths are preventable, clearly, we are failing the world’s poorest babies.”

The report also noted that 8 of the 10 most dangerous places to be born are in sub-Saharan Africa, where pregnant women are much less likely to receive assistance during delivery due to poverty, conflict and weak institutions. With the newborn mortality rate of 29 deaths per 1,000 births, the global estimates rank Nigeria as the 11th highest on newborn deaths.

In the recent Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted by the Government of Nigeria in 2016/17, the rate of newborn deaths per 1000 births is 37. This national average hides the differences between the 36 states and the slow progress in some of them.

“A fair chance in life begins with a strong, healthy start. Unfortunately, many children in Nigeria are still deprived of this,” said Mohamed M Fall, UNICEF Nigeria’s Representative. “MICS data tells us that the trend is improving but urgent action needs to be taken for Nigeria to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. It cannot afford to fail its newborns today.”

More than 80 per cent of newborn deaths are due to prematurity, asphyxia, complications during birth or infections such as pneumonia and sepsis. These deaths can be prevented with access to well-trained midwives during antenatal and postnatal visits as well as delivery at a health facility, along with proven solutions like clean water, disinfectants, breastfeeding within the first hour, skin-to-skin contact, proper cord care, and good nutrition. However, a shortage of well-trained health workers and midwives means that thousands don’t receive the life-saving support they need to survive.


This month, UNICEF is launching Every Child ALIVE, a global campaign to demand and deliver solutions on behalf of the world’s newborns. Through the campaign, UNICEF is issuing an urgent appeal to governments, health care providers, donors, the private sector, families and businesses to keep every child alive.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

More children at risk as 815m people officially hungry globally

An estimated 815 million globally are hungry, thus risking millions of children at risk from malnutrition, says the United Nations latest findings, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to UN, after steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting some 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, says a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition made available to NaijaAgroNet.

This is coming as UN said that at the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide.

The increase - 38 million more people than the previous year - is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017.

Some 155 million children aged under five are stunted (too short for their age), the report says, while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height. An estimated 41 million children are now overweight. Anaemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern. These trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns.

The report is the first UN global assessment on food security and nutrition to be released following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 as a top international policy priority.

It singles out conflict - increasingly compounded by climate change - as one of the key drivers behind the resurgence of hunger and many forms of malnutrition.

"Over the past decade, conflicts have risen dramatically in number and become more complex and intractable in nature," the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said in their joint foreword to the report. They stressed that some of the highest proportions of food-insecure and malnourished children in the world are now concentrated in conflict zones.

"This has set off alarm bells we cannot afford to ignore: we will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition. Securing peaceful and inclusive societies is a necessary condition to that end," they said.

Famine struck in parts of South Sudan for several months in early 2017, and there is a high risk that it could reoccur there as well as appear in other conflict-affected places, namely northeast Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen, they noted.

But even in regions that are more peaceful droughts or floods linked in part to the El NiƱo weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, have also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate, they added. 


Isaac Oyimah/GEE 
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Monday, May 22, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Caribbean top continents trafficking children globally

Countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America and the Caribbean have the highest share of children among detected trafficking victims at 64 and 62 per cent respectively, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in its latest study tagged A Child is a Child, showed that 200,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum across around 80 countries in 2015-2016.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that some 100,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the United States (US)-Mexico border between 2015 and 2016.

While some 170,000 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in Europe in 2015-2016, there were unaccompanied and separated children which accounted for 92 per cent of all children arriving Italy by sea in 2016 and the first months of 2017.

Children, UNICEF said, accounted for approximately 28 per cent of trafficking victims globally.
“As much as 20 per cent of smugglers have links to human trafficking networks,” the study stated.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE 
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