There is need to prioritise actions which enhances resilience in sustainable food systems in order to reduce dependence on harvest losses.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Predictions and Applications Centre Director Guleid Artan said the prioritisation will promote a multipractise and a conducive environment thereby unlocking food security.
Dr Artan said that food security is not just a matter of substance, but a fundamental human right in the compass to save nutritious and sufficient food that neighbours and communities used to thrive in.
The Director was speaking on Wednesday during the launch of the 2023 Global report on Food Crisis aimed at highlighting comprehensive assessment of acute food insecurity and malnutrition in its member states held at a Nairobi Hotel.
The report that was launched by IGAD, in collaboration with the European Union, Food Authority Organisation, World Food Programme and National Drought and Management Authority (NDMA) provides insightful data and policies that seek to promote food security in the member states.
The release of the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises is a constructive step for the member states to understand the root cause of food security and to develop effective strategies to address them.
Dr. Artan said it’s unfortunate that the region continues to face hunger and malnutrition, noting that it is essential to acknowledge the gravity of the situation faced.
He noted that according to the report released in 2022 had a staggering number of about 258 billion people who faced high levels of food security in respective levels.
Artan said “The most alarming was that a total of 55.45 million people who within seven countries out of the eight in the IGAD member states needed urgent food assistance”.
The Director stated that the report shows countries like Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda have the highest number of acutely food insecure people in the region over the past five years.
He mentioned that the report provides a comprehensive understanding of food availability and accessibility across IGAD’s member states through the extensive research, analysis and collaborations of governments, regional agencies as well as international organisations.
Echoing his sentiments, NDMA Acting Director Amos Nyakeo said that there’s a need for investors to address the frequency of climate shocks and the gap in the sector by harnessing water and utilisation purposes consequently offering a stable food production.
Nyakeo reiterated that strengthening of Kenya Drought Early Warning Systems for Arid and Semi-Arid areas would help realise and curb the upsurge loss of livestock experienced during the drought seasons.
“Drought is not a normal face unless it’s an emergency situation in the country,’ said Nyakeo.
He at the same time called upon stakeholders, investors and the governments to put proper interventions and measures in place during the alert, alarm and emergency situation stages to enable them handle all responses since drought shifts progressively.
Further, Nyakeo voiced that there was need for private investors to collaborate with the governments and international organisations to entice more players to take active roles by presenting hazards faced in the economic sector.
By Enrica Amisi and Phinta Amondi