Salone News

ActionAid’s Hunger-Free Campaign

25 June 2007 at 23:35 | 159 views

By Sorie Sudan Sesay, Freetown

ActionAid International Sierra Leone Country Director,
Tennyson Williams, has said that 854 million people in
the world go hungry everyday, which is about 17% of
the global population and that the numbers are
increasing.

Also, almost 16,000 children die everyday from
hunger-related causes which is one child every
second, and one in five people in developing
countries is chronically undernourished.

Williams made this revelations at the launching of the
Hunger-Free Campaign held at the Miatta Conference
Hall Youyi Building in Freetown.

“Chronic hunger kills more people than disasters,
disease and war,” Tennyson said observing that, it’s been over
ten years now since global leaders committed
themselves to halve the number of hungry and
undernourished people in the world by 2015, but
progress to reduce the world’s hunger has been slower
than over the previous two decades.

The goal of the campaign is for government to deliver
on their commitment to halve hunger by 2015, and
according to Tennyson, “Government must respect,
protect and fulfil the right to food because hunger and
malnutrition are the (greatest) risks to global
health.”

Hunger Free is Actionaid’s new international campaign
on the right to food. A global right based campaign,
Hunger FREE is calling for government to deliver on
their commitment to halve hunger by 2015. Hunger FREE
also demands action from inter-governmental
organisations and corporations to end hunger related
death by providing appropriate and sustainable access
to food.

70% of the world’s hungry live in rural areas, where
there is insufficient access to land, water,
fertilizer and crop seeds. This situation is compounded
by land-grabbing, privatisation and iniquitous
inheritance practices that discriminate against women.

Also, in Sierra Leone in particular, about 70% of the
population are poor and about 26% are food poor,
meaning about 1.5 million persons cannot afford as
basic a necessity as food. Moreover, hunger is a
primary concern for children.

A boy in Mathinka Village in Bombali District was
quoted as saying, “when you are hungry you are tired.
It is difficult to concentrate in school. You fall
asleep and your stomach hurts.”

The campaign was preceeded by a float parade which
commenced at Lumley Police Station and Up Gun Round
About simultaneously, and ended with a symposium at
the Miatta Conference Hall. Hundreds of people dressed
in ActionAid Hunger Free Campaign T-shirts as part of
activities marking the day.

The programme was climaxed by performances from top
local artists.

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