Food security fear in Africa

NEARLY 70 per cent of people across Africa said food and water would be a problem if they were required to remain at home for 14 days – and more than half would exhaust their money, according to an Ipsos survey released recently.

The survey included nearly 21000 people from 28 cities in 20 African countries on potential Covid-19 stay-at-home measures. The results were released in global virtual conference hosted online by the World Economic Forum.
Among the countries surveyed were South Africa, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, the UK and US.
Two weeks ago, income decreased significantly for 13% of the respondents in South Africa.
The survey was done in two waves, the first on March 25-26 before stringent restrictions were imposed on movement and business and the second on April 11-12.
The waves showed that South Africa’s respondents stocked up on food and other household goods as a result of the pandemic.
In the first wave, 54.59 per cent stocked up, while 64.68 per cent did so during the second.
Chief executive of public affairs at Ipsos Darrell Bricker explained that it was a substantial research project that had to be conducted speedily to assist them in their battle with the coronavirus.
World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti, said people who were food insecure were not able to earn their daily bread at a household level.
Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention John Nkengasong said unique attention needs to be devoted to the issues of food security.
“The committee that is governed by the AU Commission Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, are taking this seriously,” he added.
Tatjana von Bormann from World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa said there were three components to food security in the country—there are less than 30000 commercial farmers versus more than 2 million small-scale farmers, social issues were clear signs that the system is under strain and in the environment, food production resulted in transformation of natural environments. The Food Flow initiative supports small-scale farmers and food producers by buying their harvest that would have gone to restaurants, hotels and airlines, among other places.
They have been redirecting food into areas experiencing food insecurity, since founded in March by Iming Lin and Ashley Newell.
They work in the Cape Metro and Winelands, the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
Spokesperson for the Western Cape department of social development Joshua Chigome said: “The department made additional funding available for food relief programmes.”

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