(Nairobi/Addis, 1 September 2023)
A deadly mix of conflict, climate change and the economic fallout of COVID-19 has pushed millions of people, including vulnerable children, across Africa into an acute hunger crisis that has been worsened by other external factors. Millions of hungry children in Africa will face long-term health consequences or die if they don’t urgently get the food aid they need. World Health Organization reports that undernutrition is associated with 45 percent of child deaths in Africa. The UN Sustainable Development Goal #2 recognises the urgency to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition for children, as a foundational imperative for child wellbeing.
Conflict and climate change remain the biggest drivers of hunger in the Africa. Displaced children are forced to weigh the odds of which life-threatening situation they will be subjected to. Sometimes the risk of going out to find food is too dangerous, but the risk of suffering malnutrition is just as worrying. “I don’t eat every day because my mother has no money”, explains a young girl from the Central African Republic in one of World Visions areas of operation. This is just one instance out of millions across the continent. According to another child from Niger, “they experience late arrival of rains and when they come, they stop early, thereby resulting in poor yields.
As poverty and vulnerability increase, children are at much greater risk of harm and abuse. Young children who do not get adequate nutrition are at risk of developmental harm. Children who are hungry cannot study effectively and are pulled from school to work. They face gender-based violence or are abused sexually for cash or food, or forced into early marriage. According to the World Vision African Union Liaison Office Director, Sam Norgah, “we cannot continue to pay lip service in our response to climate change as millions of children die and suffer the consequences climate change-related humanitarian challenges primarily, child food hunger”. leaders have a moral and legal obligation to respond with urgency, the underlying causes of child hunger. He stated.
It is encouraging to note that, countries in Africa have put in steps, policies, programs and funding to address the impact of climate change and child hunger however, they don’t always go far enough. More still needs to be done especially if the ambition of the African Union Agenda 2063 and other national development plans are be to achieved. The Africa we want, will be a mirage if our social capital and future generation is subjected to untold hunger and untimely deaths.
In response to the hunger situation and to compliment government efforts in countries where we work, World Vision launched a global hunger response. Since April 2021, 21.3 million people - including 11.7 million children have been supported with life-saving assistance, including access to food, clean water, and emergency health and nutrition services, as well as protection and resilience-building activities.
From the 4-6 September, the inaugural Africa Climate Summit will take place. It will serve as a platform to inform, frame, and influence commitments, pledges, and outcomes, ultimately leading to the development of the Nairobi Declaration. World vision is attending the conference in Nairobi, Kenya and calls on governments, donors, the private sector, and other stakeholders to:
- Create safe spaces and opportunities for children, youth, women and other vulnerable groups to actively engage in climate actions and take steps to address their needs
- Arrive at decisions and commitments that address child hunger and prioritise the needs of children in Africa.
- Engage, develop, resource and implement local adaptation measures to address the acute food crisis facing the continent in order to lift millions of starving children out of the current food crisis.
- Develop a stronger accountability mechanism to track the implementation of decisions and commitments made to address child food crisis across the continent.
About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision
For further information please contact:
World Vision Africa Union Liaison Office:
Director, African Union Liaison Office
Mobile: +251930076764 Email: Samuel_norgah@wvi.org
Regional Manager - Communications & Public Engagement I World Vision East Africa
mobile: +254 723 608 642 email: email@example.com