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Today is ‘World Food Day,’ with events taking place across the globe to focus attention on the role played by the family farm in ending hunger and poverty.
This week’s budget brought a halt to cuts in Ireland’s overseas development assistance (ODA) spending for the first time in six years. While we are still some way short of our international pledge to invest 0.7% of GDP in overseas aid, the Government’s decision to end successive cuts is a step in the right direction.
A significant part of our ODA budget is invested in efforts to end hunger in Africa and elsewhere across the world. Helping smallholder farming families to produce more and earn more is vital to this effort. Upwards of 70% of people in sub-Saharan Africa rely directly on small farms for their livelihoods. Only by committing resources to this area will we achieve the objectives of World Food Day. Growing more food is only a part of the equation, as the urgent need to improve nutrition for families is critical too if we are to end world hunger and poverty in our lifetime.
Although rarely listed as the direct cause, malnutrition is estimated to contribute to more than one-third of all child deaths in Africa.
Within agriculture and food production we must address both the challenge of food production and of improving nutrition, as we focus on supporting the poor to feed their populations.
Gorta-Self Help Africa
17 - 22 Parkgate Street
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