International Relations:

Food Security in Africa

T-NSIAD-96-217: Published: Jul 31, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1996.

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GAO discussed the food security in Africa. GAO noted that: (1) 88 countries are classified as low-income and food-deficit states and 20 percent of the developing world's population is chronically undernourished; (2) by the year 2010, 700 million to 800 million people worldwide could be chronically undernourished unless food security is improved; (3) poverty, weather, civil strife and war, population displacements, widespread unemployement, unsustainable use of natural resources, high debt services, economic mismanagement, and distorted international markets are obstacles to world food security; (4) world food supplies will have to at least double by 2025, mainly through increased yields; (5) market-oriented agricultural policies will probably limit food production surpluses in the future and budget constraints are limiting donors' ability to provide food aid; (6) Africa accounts for about 25 percent of the chronically malnourished population in developing countries; (7) food security is precarious for sub-Saharan African countries where the population growth rate remains at 3.2 percent; (8) most U.S. food aid is in the form of emergency and humanitarian grants, but Africa no longer receives the largest share of such aid; and (9) the November 1996 World Food Summit plans to seek agreement on a broad policy statement and action plan for achieving world food security.

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