The Coalition of Civil Society and Human Rights Activists Sierra Leone (CCSHRA-SL) recently met in Freetown and discussed the global food crisis and its effect on our country.
At the end of the two days meeting, members resolved, to establish a Civil Society Task Force on Food Crisis. However, civil society has deemed it necessary to adjust and find national solution to cope with the recent dramatic hike in the world market prices of foodstuffs, especially rice, and fuel which according to forecast will continue to increase in the future.
This unreasonable hike, according to civil society, will subsequently have “adverse impact and continue to have such impact on the economy of developing countries like Sierra Leone, if appropriate and sustainable actions are not taken to address the issues by all stakeholders including Civil Society.”
The Global Monitoring Reports: Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Environment 2008- “Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development” emphasizes that factors such as high food commodity prices would further complicate prospect in the African Region including Sierra Leone.
Rising food prices without significant corresponding and coordinating efforts of all stakeholders may lead to the already escalation of poverty, disease, malnutrition especially among the vulnerable groups like women and children and may result to riots, and the breakdown of law and order.
This report has prompted civil society to act now by forming partnership with stakeholders including the government, UN food agencies, multilateral and bilateral institutions with interest in food and development activities, to firstly understand their approaches in combating these threats and secondly develop strategies to compliment their efforts in addressing the current national and global food crisis with the view to avert any discomfort as has been the case in other countries.
By Ophaniel Gooding