For Lack of Will: Child Hunger in Africa

  • Child Poverty
Pages: 44
Year of Publication: 2019
Country: Africa

Africa’s population is expected to reach 2.5 billion people in 2050, and its child and youth population will hit the one billion mark. If current trends continue and corrective measures are not taken, Africa could have one billion undernourished, malnourished, hungry children and young people by the middle of the century. Child hunger is fundamentally a political problem. It is the offspring of the unholy alliance of political indifference, unaccountable and bad governance, and economic mismanagement. Persistent, naked, and brutal though the reality is, it remains a silent tragedy, one that remains largely unacknowledged and tolerated, perhaps because it is a problem faced by the voiceless. The severity and scale of the problem is such that it requires nothing short of a radical and transformative political and economic agenda. It means above all: (i) political commitment at the highest level; (ii) a constitutional or legal commitment to ensure that no child goes hungry and to make it obligatory for governments to provide universal access to a minimum acceptable amount of food for all children; (iii) provision of targeted social safety nets for the poor, especially child- and female headed households; and (iv) the institution of school-feeding programmes across regions and communities. Hunger defiles human dignity, destroys lives, and deprives nations of their future wealth and their human capital too. Action is urgently needed. The issue is not resource limitation, though the demands on the public purse cannot be denied. The real culprit is that we have a broken governance system and an unresponsive political leadership that is indifferent to the plight of the poor, especially to the millions of children that suffer, albeit silently, the pangs of everyday hunger. The solution lies in public mobilization and a sustained and vigorous Africa-wide movement to hold our governments accountable. That is what is needed, and that is what all of us and the human rights community and civil society in Africa should do.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Located in: Publications

An independent, not-for-profit, Pan-African
Institute of policy research and dialogue on the African child.

Founded 2003
Founder Assefa Bequele, PhD

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