Not enough is being done to fight hunger

2014-10-16 14:19

The government must prioritise hunger alleviation, a study released today recommended.

“We are proposing a national act that will put hunger at the heart of government policies,” Oxfam’s economic justice campaign manager Rashmi Mistry said.

“All government departments must come together so that it is not just one department, like agriculture, that will be responsible for food security. It does involve rural development, social development – all government departments.”

Mistry was speaking following the release of the study, titled Hidden Hunger in South Africa, which was intended to expose what hunger meant in South Africa and the fact that not enough was being done to address the issue.

The study found that a quarter of South Africans regularly suffered from hunger.

“South Africa is supposed to be a food-secure nation, producing enough food to adequately feed everyone, but the reality is that one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis,” Mistry said.

She said hunger stripped away people’s dignity and perpetuated people’s problems. She said more needed to be done for change to be effective in the country. She called on the government to intervene and come up with legislation to help fight hunger.

“We need to introduce a national act that will be a bottom-up process with the communities who are facing hunger. It will take a long time to implement that but in the meantime, the government must address the issue of implementing policies, coordination and re-sourcing of policies to address issues of hunger,” said Mistry.

According to the study, one in four people in the country suffered from hunger and an additional 28.3% were at risk of hunger.

Read: SA’s empty plates

Mistry said they were hoping to take their findings to the government.

“We are hoping to speak to the government because we need them to hear the stories we have talked about. The government needs to hear these stories and speak to those people as well to understand what they need in order to address hunger,” she said.

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