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Global leaders gather to discuss how to address child hunger in Africa

POSTED May 31, 2019

Global leaders gather to discuss how to address child hunger in Africa

It’s agreed more needs to be done to help those in need

By Sandra Upeslacis, director, strategic communications

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Although there’s been progress to reduce child malnutrition, Africa’s rising population means child hunger will persist, according a report from the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF).

At a recent conference in Ethiopia, ACPF called for further commitments to ensure universal access to food for children as well as the implementation of school-feeding programs and increased investment in data collection and analysis to tackle the issue.

Many leaders contributed to the dialogue. “Even as we focus on issues like hunger, we’ve got to be careful we are not focusing on symptoms. We ought to focus on what are the systemic issues,” said Patrick Canagasingham, CEO at the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, at the conference. “We ought to find solutions that are very pragmatic but also very creative at the same time.”

Camerapix’s Salim Amin takes us to this 8th International Policy Forum on the African Child in the video below. Check it out, and learn more about how you can help by visiting CCFC’s gift catalogue.

The 8th International Policy Conference on the African Child


Hunger is an ever-present specter in much of the Horn of Africa where close to half the population lives below the poverty line, and about three-quarters survive on agriculture.

The region is far from reaching its sustainable development goal of attaining zero hunger and eradicating poverty. Today, the Horn remains one of the most food insecure regions in the world, with over 40 percent of its people suffering from starvation and are undernourished. Women and children are the most affected. Any further lack of preventive action will easily boil over into catastrophe.


Dr. Assefa Bequele, executive director, African Child Policy Forum:

Some 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in the midst of fairly rapid economic growth, we’re still talking about child hunger.

I think it is really a very sad reflection, perhaps, of the balance of forces, political forces, in our respective communities.

The poor are voiceless anyway. And I wonder if it’s not related to that at the end of the day, that the poor are there.


Graça Machel, Chair, International Board of Trustees, ACPF:

Where we fail, I think it’s in policies and practices, which are incremental in development, and they are also incremental in the perfection of how we implement those policies.


Heads of State and governments of the African Union, Civil Society, Academics and activists, have all gathered at the 8th International Policy Conference in Addis Ababa. Hosted by the African Child Policy Forum, this conference seeks to hold dialogue, address the challenges, share and find innovative ways of mitigating child hunger and food insecurity in Africa.


-Someone talking at conference-


Hajir Maalim, regional director, Action Against Hunger:

I think as Africans, we need to take the leadership of our future. We have the resources, we have the capacity at the continental level, we can do more. At the individual level, there is a lot of good work being done but collectively we haven’t done much. We are driving the destiny of our continent, and we are at the right time to do that.

We should take the leadership and hold our governments to account and mobilize our people to be able to bring the positive change that we need at the community level, national level and at the continental level as well.


Dr. Sisay Sinamo, ministry of Health, Ethiopia:

Since the drought in the 1980s, as a country we have learned a lot. A good example is the drought that we faced in 2015. Where the government has really taken ownership of the problem and also mobilized resources locally and also for the international community to respond effectively through a coordinated manner. So I think one of the key learnings is the country ownership. The second one is governance.


Patrick Canagasingham, CEO, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:

Even as we focus on issues like hunger, we’ve got to be careful that we are not focusing on symptoms. We ought to focus on what are the systemic issues, and we ought to find solutions that are very pragmatic, but also, very creative at the same time.

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