Why are 2 million Ugandan children starving?

Today we return to the 30 day blogging challenge and we are at task 19 and the social media media support supremo Nikki Pilkington has challenged us to use anchor text for this post

I have selected a question that is on most development experts minds at the moment and they are not on their own in the quest for answers to this question. I have just got back from Uganda and  the night before I left this very question was up for discussion on one of the Ugandan Television channels.

I have previously written about the issue of food shortages in Uganda and I must admit it continues to puzzle me today and whilst watching the news last Saturday night 18th June 2011 it was interesting to note that I am not the only one that does not understand why so many children are going hungry in a country that has plenty of food.

 

The issues of why 2 million Uganda children are starving are complex but some are easily resolvable so long as there is commitment on the part of government but some require  better governance and planning

  1. according to the expert that was being interviewed for the news bulletin- some children are simply unable to absorb the food that they eat and as such it is of no benefit to them at all
  2. cost of food
  3. poor food distribution within  the country
  4. they are fed the wrong kind of food
  5. the way that food is currently traded on world markets etc

I touched on some of the issues in a recent post Food, disease and Poverty– the irony here is that most of the reasons listed above are more likely to be faced by poor people especially the poor of Africa. What was interesting too in the same bulletin the governor of the bank of Uganda gave a news conference in which he called on the government to reign in their spending and an interesting static came out of the same news bulletin

68% of Ugandans do not “touch” money for the entire year and riches are concentrated in the hands of only 6% of the entire Ugandan population

with that in mind I suppose it is no wonder that 2 million Ugandan children are malnourished

The trading of food on world markets will continue to affect the poor’s ability to access food  and Johann Hari’s article in The Independent gives us a great insight into how that is done and the impact on the poor. For a comprehensive analysis of the issue of food availability please read Oxfam’s report FOOD JUSTICE IN A RESOURCE CONSTRAINED WORLD

Another reason for food shortage and one that we should pay attention to is food being used for bio fuels and or land that should be used for agriculture being taken up for bio fuels, as Eliza Anyangwe explains on Africa on The Blog a multi author blog by people of African descent.

The issue of food affordability in Uganda was taken up by the opposition who led the Walk to Work protests in a bid to force the government to  address the issue, leading to great unrest in the country- you can follow that story on this YouTube video clip  http://youtu.be/ZoNt_RKhIdk

The question is what can be done about these 2 Million Ugandan children that are malnourished?

 

Whilst here I would like to share with you a really interesting and practical initiative that ensures children in Zulu land are fed it is called  the Banana Appeal founded by Kevin Allen

If you have a view on this issue please join the discussion

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