Boakai To Combat Liberia’s Hunger Level

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As the 2023 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report revealed the hunger situation in Liberia has been serious, President  Joseph Nyumah Boakai has vowed to take concrete measures in reducing the level of hunger facing the country. The President said it is unacceptable that Liberia is still not yet able to feed itself. According to him, his government will make agriculture and food security a priority issue to address hunger and malnutrition in the next few years. “I want to believe that under my watch if agriculture doesn’t work in this country I don’t think it will ever work. So we are going to make sure we make it work. I see no reason that a country so well endowed with water and land and everything that is needed to produce food can’t produce. We are going to produce food. The statistic that I see out there is not just alarming, but it doesn’t represent Liberia,” he said.

The President made these assertions on Wednesday in Monrovia, when he launched the 2023 GHI report in collaboration with Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and Concern Worldwide.  According to the 2023 GHI report, Liberia ranked 117 out of 125 countries with a score of 32.2, indicating the country’s hunger situation as serious.  Previous reports also indicate that Liberia’s food and nutrition situation is poor and needs attention by the government. Stunting and malnutrition still remains a serious challenge that confronts the country, according to the reports. The GHI report is launched every year in Liberia by WHH and Concern Worldwide to raise awareness about the level of hunger facing countries. This year’s GHI report strongly recommends priority for the empowerment of the young people in agriculture and agribusinesses to shape the global food systems.  The Country Director for WHH Liberia, Hubert Charles said in the past years, WHH and Concern Worldwide have launched the GHI report in Liberia. He said that considering the level of hunger facing most countries around the world there is a need for additional actions to improve access to food. “We therefore also present this report to guide partners to places where they work in supporting food and nutrition efforts,” he said.  He said that the report looks at several indicators such as stunting, malnutrition and child mortality and among others. “We only use official published data to show the rate of hunger. We are very happy that the Ministry of Agriculture was able to work with us and other partners to conduct a local survey on the level of nutrition and hunger. But it is clear that the findings are not different from what we are also presenting,” he said.

He said that his institution is in Liberia to help the government address some nutrition and health issues. “We are working with the government to take measures on food and nutrition challenges. But what we are doing currently is to accelerate on the gains made in improving food and nutrition,” he stated. He said the main focus of interventions is to reduce malnutrition facing children. According to him, it is, however, indicated that Liberia has been able to make some progress in addressing poor nutrition but effort to scale up had been low over the years. He said that Liberia still has a high level of undernourishment according to the report. Charles said that this situation also highly affects the young people who actually need a better and healthy diet in order to develop. “The lack of access to food serves as a barrier to the development of the young people.  Charles called on the government to take concrete action or measures to address the country’s performance in improving food and nutrition security.  “We are working with the stakeholders in addressing the hunger and malnutrition situation still facing the country,” he concluded. For her part, the Country Director of Concern Worldwide, Ciara Begley, said that her institution has developed a five year strategic plan to help Liberia improve food and nutrition security. She said that the strategic plan seeks to address the issue of chronic malnutrition through program and advocacy works. Begley said the plan hopes to succeed in promoting breastfeeding and the consumption of healthy and rich diets.  According to her, Concern Worldwide will seek to work with communities to improve their food and nutrition security. Source: Ablee-Jay TV

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