Action Aid International- Sierra Leone in collaboration with Sierra Leone Alliance Against Hunger Wednesday at the Miatta Conference hall undertook a seminar
to address the world’s growing food crisis especially in Sierra Leone.
Giving an overview of the seminar, the national President of Alliance Against Hunger Francis Cooper explained that in the year 2000, World leaders resolved on reducing the problem of global hunger from 854million to 427 million by 2015.
He stated that by 2007 hunger and the right to food had seriously become an issue and widely discussed by important world bodies including the United Nations and global civil society organizations.
He expressed that the current global food crisis has been a long time in the making especially for those living in rural areas as farmers, pastoralists and fisherfolk have been increasingly dispossessed of their livelihoods as well as their land, fishing grounds and markets.
“The world food crisis threatens to destroy years, if not decades of economic progress as 100million people are being pushed back in to absolute poverty. Unless some way can be found to halt and reverse the current trend in food prices there will be a significant increase in hunger, malnutrition and infant and child mortality” he stated.
Mr Cooper remarked that they were engaging in an active manner, government and stakeholders to create the enabling environment to leave a hunger free nation.
Mr Brima Sallieu of Action Aid said despite their involvements in health, education, water and sanitation, their current programme involved the right to just democratic governance for which women’s right, right to food, human security, conflict and HIV/AIDS were their present considerations.
Explaining their position as the prices rise, a range of measures international, national and local should be taken to address the immediate effects of the crisis.
He mentioned the short term solutions as governments in poor countries should subsidise by tax exemption on staple food for poor consumers with support from donor countries. Or introduce temporary tariff reduction to offer short term solution.
Also, the USA should remove all subsidies and tariff for corn ethanol production where as the EU should also stop encouraging the production of bio-fuels from food crops such as beetroot and conola and Brazil to implement agro-ecological zoning focused on preventing sugarcane expansion in food production areas.
The FAO country Director Mr Gallagher and Fallah Ensa N’daema from the civil society made contributions about solving the food crisis whilst Mrs George Williams from the Humam Rights Commission served as chairperson.
By Ishmael Bayoh