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To Maintain Growth, Africa Needs To Improve Food Security, UNDP Report Says

“Africa needs to boost agricultural productivity and address the debilitating hunger that affects 27 percent of its population if it is to sustain its economic boom, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said [in a report] on Tuesday,” Reuters reports (Migiro, 5/15). In its first-ever “Africa Human Development Report 2012: Towards a Food Secure Future,” UNDP “notes that with more than one in four of its 856 million people undernourished, sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s most food insecure region,” the Guardian writes. According to the newspaper, the report says, “Hunger and extended periods of malnutrition not only devastate families and communities in the short term, but leave a legacy with future generations which impairs livelihoods and undermines human development.”

The report proposes action in four areas, the Guardian reports, including: “[i]ncreasing agricultural productivity” to improve gender equality, employment rates, and outputs; improving nutrition “while expanding access to health services, education, sanitation and clean water”; “[b]uilding resilience” to “lower people’s and communities’ vulnerability to natural disasters and civil conflict, seasonal or volatile changes in food prices and climate change”; and bridging the gender gap to empower women and improve social justice (Smith, 5/15).