AFRICA FOOD & NUTRITION SECURITY DAY EMPHASIZES NEED FOR STRONGER FOOD SYSTEMS TO REDUCE HUNGER
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Published on 30 October 2011

World Food Programme (WFP) marks the Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day by highlighting the importance of regional markets and locally produced food in increasing access to food on both national and household levels.

Today the World Food Programme (WFP) marks the Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day by highlighting the importance of regional markets and locally produced food in increasing access to food on both national and household levels.

“WFP works with governments and communities across Africa to break the cycle of hunger that is so pervasive,” said WFP Deputy Executive Director Sheila Sisulu. “We’re helping to apply country-led hunger solutions while promoting growth and development. At the same time, we are providing life-saving assistance to those suffering from crises, such as the drought in the Horn of Africa or the post-election population displacement in Côte d’Ivoire.”

In 2010, WFP reached almost 46 million people in more than 40 countries in Africa. WFP’s assistance on the continent focuses on emergency relief, post-crisis recovery and longer-term programmes to reduce chronic hunger and malnutrition.

WFP Rwanda places strong emphasis on social protection activities for vulnerable populations, including supplementary feeding to malnourished children, pregnant and lactating mothers, and HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral treatment. WFP also provides food assistance to 54,000 Congolese refugees located in three refugee camps in the country. Furthermore, WFP supports 350,000 pupils in 300 primary schools with hot meals during school days.

This year, the theme of the Africa Food and Nutrition Security Day is “Investing in Intra-African Trade for Food and Nutrition Security,” a crucial issue as commodity markets remain volatile. With global food prices expected to remain high, WFP is undertaking several initiatives to scale up social protection activities and to strengthen local and regional markets.

In Rwanda, WFP purchases food commodities directly from smallholder farmers through the Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative. The programme aims to enhance farmers’ access to reliable markets using WFP’s purchasing power as a catalyst to increase production. “Since 2010, WFP purchased 7000 mt of combined commodities (maize and beans) worth US$ 2.5m, mainly from the Eastern province” said Abdoulaye BALDE, WFP representative and country director.