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Christian Science Monitor Continues Series On African Nations’ Food Security Challenges, Efforts To Strengthen Community Resilience

Christian Science Monitor: Can famine be checked as Africa faces its worst crisis since the 1980s?
“…[T]he threat [of drought and famine] many of these people face today may be less grave than it would have been for their parents and grandparents. Over the past two decades, African nations have learned valuable lessons about how to predict, if not prevent, droughts, and how to ward off famine by strengthening the defenses of the most vulnerable. From Madagascar to Ethiopia to Somalia and beyond, governments, international aid agencies, and the villagers they help are building up ‘community resilience’…” (Ford et al., 7/30).

Christian Science Monitor: How a 20-million-person crisis goes unseen
“The world is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, with 20 million people on the brink of famine, and hardly anybody knows about it. Out of the media spotlight, the droughts and civil conflicts that are pushing the Horn of Africa, Yemen, and Nigeria into starvation are going unnoticed. And the humanitarian agencies trying to help are struggling to collect the money they need to help…” (Ford, 7/28).

Christian Science Monitor: Amid persistent drought, a nation of herders plots a new course
“…The drought has killed 80 percent of the livestock that nomadic rural communities depend on in Somaliland alone, and forced 739,000 to move in search of water and food throughout Somalia. Heavy hitters like the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have scaled up their interventions, with everything from pre-positioning supplies, hygiene kits, and half a million measles vaccines to ringing alarm bells. So far, however, funding requirements of nearly $150 million are almost $50 million short…” (Peterson, 7/27).

Christian Science Monitor: Madagascar fights the subtler side of hunger: chronic malnutrition
“…Droughts and famines tend to afflict countries in cyclical fashion. But where chronic malnutrition is endemic, such as Madagascar, they strike harder — sharply increasing the risks for already vulnerable children, according to research led by professors at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. … Intervention comes at a fairly low price: $400 million — not much more than one of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films — would pay for a 10-year program to iodize salt, fortify wheat flour and oil with micronutrients, and teach pregnant women and young mothers what to feed their babies, says UNICEF’s nutrition investment plan…” (Ford, 7/26).

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