Global crises must be anticipated to avoid food insecurity, say experts

Food security in Africa must be considered upstream and not wait for crises to seek solutions, said international experts at the MEDays forum.

“Because of the multiple crises we need faster responses to address the devastating effects of hunger and food shortages, said Hameed Nuru, Director of WFP’s Global Bureau for the African Union and WFP Representative to the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission of the Nations United for Africa (AU and ECA).

The representative of the World Food Program, estimated that in 2021 alone, between 45 and 68 billion dollars were spent by African nations on imports of the most basic foods and not even finished products.

Reacting to the global crises that have followed one another in recent years and have impacted food imports, particularly in Africa, the Ethiopian Hameed Nuru, affirmed that “All we can do is prepare. Yesterday it was Ebola today it’s Covid and Monkeypox, there will always be health crises”.

According to him, we must find proactive solutions and improve productivity in agriculture, rethink agricultural policies and improve food quality. The expert further emphasized the need to resolve conflicts within African countries so that farmers can take back their land and there can be a smooth flow of trade between countries.

Speaking on the case of Morocco during the coronavirus pandemic, Noureddine Boutayeb, Chairman of the Executive Board of Crédit Agricole du Maroc and senior executive of the Ministry of the Interior, explained that it is the principle of anticipation that reigned in the management of the food issue.

It was necessary “identify the products that you absolutely had to have. We had made massive imports of flour, sugar and oilseeds” he indicated. And beyond the pandemic crisis, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict “has affected us more by the price explosion”he added.

However, the person who ran operations in the Ministry of the Interior indicated that Morocco’s main concern in terms of food security is the climate change factor, which he described as “climate drift”, explaining that fter the dam policy, we are now moving towards water desalination.

For his part, Christopher Hegadorn, Secretary of the FAO Committee on World Food Security, estimated that even before the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, there was already a very difficult situation in terms of food security, affirming that the global food system is ” vulnerable “.

According to him, world leaders must see food security as a matter of national security, noting that the number one killer is junk food. “Bad eating habits cause cancer”he said, emphasizing the need to produce healthy food for the people.

Governance and political engagement, he added, is a response to citizens’ problems, emphasizing that it must be done at a holistic level down to people and their eating habits.

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