The African Union, AU and the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO have launched a project aimed at galvanizing global efforts to end hunger and malnutrition in The Horn of Africa.
The new development project tagged “Ending Hunger in The Horn of Africa: Moving from Rhetoric to Action” is a new milestone in the implementation of the 2014 AU Malabo Declaration on Agricultural Growth and Transformation.
The project is to implement a coherent set of activities intended to improve partnership and coordinated action on ending hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the Horn of Africa by 2025 through providing a consultative forum for governments, regional economic communities (RECs), development partners and stakeholders to discuss, review and develop new strategies on hunger eradication for the sub-region.
The project is expected to take stock of policies and investments, establish national and regional partnership mechanisms for hunger eradication, and to encourage advocacy and communication for ending hunger in the Horn of Africa.
AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, represented by her Senior Advisor and CAADP Team Leader, Mr. Ernest Ruzindaza, officially opened the ceremony to launch the project noting that the “Ending Hunger in the Horn of Africa” Project was the first project in a range of activities for translating the Malabo Commitments into concrete actions.
“The Horn of Africa with its notable food insecurity challenges, which the recent El Nino effects aggravated, is the right place to start with,” she said. “Malabo is about commitment to actions, results and impact.”
Tumusiime declared that the success of the project would provide a strong basis for up-scaling and out-scaling the project to the other regions.
Speaking at the ceremony, Patrick Kormawa, FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa and Representative to AUC, said, “There is a great opportunity for the Horn of Africa to change the narrative of being a hunger prone region, to a hunger free region.”
“What is required is sustained partnerships and strong political commitment to leverage from and scale up already successful programmes and activities to end hunger in Africa. This is why FAO is teaming up with the AU Commission and Member States in the HoA to implement the Malabo Declaration to end hunger in Africa by 2025,” he added.
The AU-FAO project will contribute to improved partnerships and coordinated action on ending hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the Horn of Africa by providing a forum for governments, regional economic communities (RECs), development partners and stakeholders to come together to discuss and come up with effective strategies to reduce hunger in the region.
The Horn of Africa covers approximately 2,000,000 km2 or 770,000 square miles and is inhabited by about 115 million people. Ethiopia: 96.6 million, Somalia: 10.4 million, Eritrea: 6.4 million, and Djibouti: 0.81 million. Drought in the Horn of Africa, coupled with conflict in Somalia, has affected over 13 million people.