Hunger, HIV/AIDS Hit Africa With Double Punch: World Food Program
December 11, 2008
Speaking on the sidelines of the recent 15th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa in Dakar, Senegal, top experts at the UN World Food Program warned the current global economic meltdown could exacerbate a persisting food crisis and rising HIV/AIDS infection rates on the continent.
Bloem pleaded with rich governments not to cut international aid allocations due to the global credit crunch. "The [rise in] food prices at the beginning of the year and now the economic crisis, this is enormous, the urgency to act now is so much bigger," he said.
"The number of people dependent on external resources will increase over the next few years; the economic crisis will diminish the amount of money that we will get," Bloem said. "How can we cope with these incredible needs?"
Sisulu and Bloem said efforts to address Africa's HIV/AIDS pandemic should work to improve the deficient nutritional intake of most poor Africans in addition to emphasizing medical treatment.
12.05.2008; Pascal Fletcher