Saturday, October 22, 2016

To ensure food secure present, we need to address climate change- WFP

Madam Angela Cespedes
As part of commemorations marking the  the new World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director, Madam Angela Cespedes, recognised the crucial role of climate change to food, nutrition and agriculture. 

Climate change, she stated, acts as a multiplier of existing threats to food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. It’s making natural disasters more scarce and difficult to access, affecting hardly agricultural productivity.
In the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, WFP is working in close partnership with several governmental institutions, UN agencies and other development partners to improve food security, nutrition and education to build resilience and minimise the risks of climate change. 

She adds: ‘climate change is one of the main challenges we will all need to address in order to ensure a food secure present and future for our communities’.

The new WFP Representative and Country Director, Madam Cespedes was delivering her maiden speech in rural Gambia- in Janjanbureh, in the Central River Region South on 16th October, 2016 at the World Food Day.

Climate change, she said is and will disproportionality impact the most vulnerable people, especially women and children and their livelihoods; ultimately putting hundreds of millions of people at risk.

According to her, this celebration is to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

Going further, she noted that by 2050, the risk of hunger and malnutrition could increase by up to 20% due to climate change.

Already, ‘we are aware of the social, economic, and environmental challenges the world is facing as a result of climate change’.

Yes, the unfortunate truth is that right now- in our world, including the Islamic Republic of The Gambia- too many farmers cannot sustainably feed their families or safeguard their communities’ resources for the future.
And yes, just few years ago, the cause was and is still lack of access to equipment, knowledge. Credit, or markets and the increasing threats of climate change.

WFP Head stated that climate shocks endanger millions of people’s lives and trap poor households in chronic hunger and poverty.

When their crops fail and incomes fall, poor households are often forced into taking drastic measures just to survive, such as taking their children out of school or selling their most productive asserts, stated Madam Cespedes.

In conclusion, my office- WFP remains committed to deepening its partnership with the government and the people of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia.


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