Last Updated on: 1st September 2022, 08:24 pm
Hunger is a looming threat in Uganda
By Patrick Odongo Lango
Oyam, Sept. 1, 2022: It is well known that insufficient dietary intake and diversity among children, pregnant and lactating women (PLW) can have a detrimental effect on the physical and intellectual development, particularly during the first one thousand days of a child’s life.
Increasing the availability, access, and consumption of nutrient-dense foods during these first one thousand days has the greatest potential to benefit that child.
For the first time in several decades, there is an alarming rise in the rates of chronic hunger as well as poverty. This is due, in large part, to severe and protracted civil conflicts, an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters brought on by climate change, and a slowdown in the economic activity of nations all over the world as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, the crisis in Ukraine is exacerbating these effects by causing spikes in the prices of food, fuel, and fertilizer. This is leading to widespread food shortages among the most economically disadvantaged population subgroups, including peasant farmers in rural areas that rely on rain-fed agriculture.
The prices of food are almost fifty percent higher than they were at this time last year, and the FAO predicts that these prices will continue to rise.
This crisis will be exacerbated by additional production shortfalls that are anticipated in the coming years. As a result of these anticipated production shortfalls, food access and availability issues will become even more of a concern, in addition to the persistent price inflation.
These impending dangers and their implications for economic growth and human development need to become high on the agenda of governments and civil society as soon as possible.
LAYDNET is ready to work with like-minded organizations including those in civil society, UN agencies (such as FAO, WFP, and UNICEF), and government agencies, to design and implement innovative strategies to combat chronic hunger.
In the Otuke District, LAYDNET spearheaded an effort about two weeks ago to raise funds for emergency food relief that was distributed to approximately 1000 most famine-stricken and vulnerable households.
However, this is just a stopgap measure. In the medium and long term, LAYDNET will provide support to communities in these drought-prone areas so they can adopt climate-smart agriculture to increase agricultural productivity and promote household food security to sustainably address the hunger crisis.
This article was written by the Head of Programs at LAYDNET.
LAYDNET Uganda is a national non-governmental organization that focuses primarily on the youth of the Lango sub-region. Its name stands for the Lango Youth Development Network. This organization is non-political and non-partisan, and it does not seek to profit from its activities.
LAYDNET focuses on four thematic areas, namely, health and wellbeing, environmental conservation and sustainability, education, and livelihoods. Learn more about our programmings by visiting our website www.laydnet.org