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FAO: 1.4 million Moroccans suffer from malnutrition

A report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed that the number of Moroccans suffering from malnutrition from poverty recorded a total of 1.4 million Moroccans, representing 3.9 per cent of Morocco’s total population.

The report entitled “Regional Review of Food Security and Nutrition in Africa” ​​reported that 12 per cent of Moroccan male children versus 11 per cent of females under the age of five were malnourished, particularly wasting and stunting, and 12 per cent of Moroccan children were suffering Obesity.

Africa’s hunger levels continue to rise after many years of decline, threatening the continent’s efforts to eradicate hunger and meet the goals of the Malabo 2025 Agreement and the Sustainable Development Plan, particularly the second objective of sustainable development.

Data show that 237 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are chronically undernourished, undermining gains over the past years.

More and more people are undernourished in Africa compared to any other region. Evidence suggests that about 20 percent of Africa’s population had been undernourished during 2017.

“The reason for this deterioration is the difficult conditions in the global economy, the worsening environmental conditions, and the outbreak of conflicts in many countries,” said the report, prepared by FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel and ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe.

“The pace of economic growth slowed in 2016 due to lower commodity prices, especially oil and minerals. Levels of food insecurity have also deteriorated in conflict-affected countries, often exacerbated by drought or floods. For example, many countries in eastern and southern Africa have suffered from drought,” the source said.

Of the estimated 257 million hungry people in Africa, 237 million live in sub-Saharan Africa, while 20 million live in North Africa.

The United Nations annual report indicates that the number of undernourished people in Africa increased by 34.5 million compared to 2015, of which 32.6 million live in sub-Saharan Africa and 1.9 million in North Africa.

Half of this increase is due to the high number of undernourished people in West Africa, while the number of undernourished people in East Africa has increased by about one-third.

At the regional level, the prevalence of stunting among children under the age of five is declining, but few African countries are on track to meet the global nutrition target to reduce the incidence of stunting.

While the number of under-five children with obesity continues to increase, particularly in North and South Africa. According to the regional report, the continent is making slow progress in efforts to meet the global nutrition goals set by the World Health Organization.

In many countries, particularly in East and Southern Africa, poor climatic conditions due to the El Niño phenomenon led to a decline in the level of agricultural production and rising prices of basic foodstuffs. Economic and climatic conditions improved during 2017, but some countries continued to experience droughts or poor rainfall.

The report reveals the need for further efforts to achieve the second objective of sustainable development and global nutrition goals in light of the major challenges facing the African continent, such as addressing the problem of youth unemployment and climate change, noting that “the agricultural and rural sectors must play a key role in Create decent jobs for about 10 to 12 million young people who will join the labor market annually.”

“There is another and growing threat to food security and nutrition in Africa, climate change, which poses a particular threat to countries that are heavily dependent on agriculture. Climate change, low rainfall and high temperatures have a negative impact on the yields of staple food crops.”

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