UN and Africa: focus on Ethiopia farmers, access to food and child soldiers

The El Niño weather phenomenon has forced families to be on the move from Haro Huba kabele in central Ethiopia. Photo: UNICEF/Mulugeta Ayene

Farmers need extra US$45 million to ward off El Niño in Ethiopia

Farmers battling drought in Ethiopia have "a small window of opportunity" this September to plant a last set of crops for the year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The UN agency is appealing for US $45 million in additional funding to support farmers so they can produce food for millions of their fellow citizens who are facing hunger. FAO reports that Ethiopia has staved off the worst of the drought, which was followed by flooding, brought on by the weather phenomenon known as El Niño. Sandra Ferrari asked FAO Surge Response Team Leader in Ethiopia, Pierre Vauthier, about the extent of its impact on the agricultural sector.

 

 

During the lean season, families in Wurotorobe, Burkina Faso, struggle to have at least one meal per day. File Photo: OCHA/Ivo Brandau

"Equity" and access to food is main "challenge"

Making sure that everyone gets access to food is one of the main challenges facing the international community according to the World Food Programme (WFP). The UN agency says there is enough food to feed the more than seven billion people on the planet but a lack of equality means that many people, especially in parts of Africa, are going hungry. International experts recently gathered at UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the issue at a meeting entitled “Leaving No One Behind in Food Security and Nutrition Governance.” Basma Baghal spoke to Amir Abdulla, the WFP Deputy Executive Director. She began by asking him whether ending hunger was a realistic aim.

 

 

Children surrender their weapons during a ceremony formalizing their release from the SSDA Cobra Faction armed group. File Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2015-0201/Rich

Former child soldiers should be treated humanely, "not as menaces"

Former child soldiers need to be treated humanely and "not as menaces" to society, an advocate for children's rights has said. Kabba Williams was one of those forcefully recruited in Sierra Leone by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, at the age of 7. Rescued and reintegrated into his community with the support of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and partners in 1994, he later earned a degree in literature and linguistics at Njala University. Mr Williams is currently writing a book and a portion of the proceeds will help finance rehabilitation programmes for other former child soldiers. Deganit Perez asked him how the experience had changed him and what hope there was for people facing similar situations.

Presenter: Jocelyne Sambira
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10'00″

Filed under UN and Africa.
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