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Rabie Saunders Building
School of Agricultural, Earth and
University of KwaZulu-Natal
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The incidence of food insecurity in some
Southern African countries remains high. This anomaly of widespread food
insecurity amid national food surpluses stimulated the analysis of the
nature and causes of food insecurity. Some countries are experiencing
productions shortfalls die to a series of drought and/or policy
failures. Subsequently, national, regional and international
organizations have engaged themselves in assessing the impact of such
failure so as to better understand the context and take appropriate
action to build the capacity of vulnerable households and communities to
respond to any changes in their environment.
The South African Development Community (SADC) has recognized this challenge and identified the African Centre for Food Security (ACFS) of the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA). The overall objective of Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis is to provide the necessary skills to practitioners who carry out vulnerability assessment activities and build much needed analytical capacity.
As the above 2014 World Hunger Map by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows, several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have a high or very high rate of undernourishment in their population. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest regional scores on the 2014 Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
This problem isn’t going to be solved by governments alone, or donors, or the private sector. As Rick Leach, president and CEO of the World Food Program (WFP) in the USA has put it, the future of tackling food security is in the public and private sectors working together to create economic opportunity. Below we discuss two key constraints to food security in Africa, and some of the measures put forward to address these challenges.
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