Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) - A three-day forum of Central African parliamentarians on food and nutritional security opened here Tuesday in an effort to seek a common front for fighting hunger, official sources told PANA.
The Central African region, like the rest of the continent, is going through food and nutrition crisis.
According to a UN report, issued in 2018, three out of four people are malnourished.
In Congo, for example, more than 14.2 percent of families suffer from severe or moderate food insecurity and 73.6 percent of families face uncertain food security.
The parliamentarians of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) rely on their legislator’s role to try to reverse this situation.
During budget debates, these legislators express their concerns around expenditure linked to agricultural development, issues of food and nutritional health.
The forum, which is being held under the theme “A common vision for improved food and nutrition through sustainable agriculture”, aims to establish a network of parliamentarian alliances from the sub-region to ensure food and nutritional security for the people.
The Congolese president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, who opened the forum, said the challenge of eradicating hunger within countries could not be taken up without sub-regional integration driven by structuring community agriculture.
He underlined the need to revitalize agricultural policies so far implemented by governments in relation to their true capacity to satisfy local demand.
The Congolese president called for a significant participation of women in the development process of the rural world.
He also deplored the obstacles linked to the free movement of people and goods, as well as the weak road network supposed to facilitate the transportation of products to city centres.
“I urge our partners for development, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, particularly, the World Food Programme, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, to consolidate further this problematic that will guarantee food security in Central Africa. Similarly, our governments must take into consideration the international prescriptions and play their role within the world dynamics to the responses to the food and nutritional challenges,” said president Nguesso.
The forum is also an opportunity for partners like the UN Children’s Fund, to reaffirm their commitment to back member-countries in their actions to reduce poverty and protect children since the eradication of hunger is part of the UN agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
-0- PANA MB/BEH/MSA/RA 19Nov2019