Download Chapter 9. In addition to global developments and food policy changes, also saw important developments with potentially wide repercussions in individual countries and regions. The individual regional sections cover many critical topics:. However, such expenditures declined by 1.
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Nonetheless, seven countries did meet the budget share target or came very close to it, having agricultural expenditure shares of more than 9 percent. Poverty and hunger reduction saw steady but slow improvement. The percent of the population that is undernourished fell faster, decreasing from Meanwhile, the prevalence of child malnutrition underweight declined from The pace of poverty and hunger reduction has been too slow to prevent the absolute number of poor and hungry from rising, and, on average, Africa as a whole will not meet the first Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty and hunger rates by However, there are indications that progress is accelerating: the rates of decline in — were higher than in — At the country level, progress in meeting key nutrition targets has also remained rather slow.
In Africa, only 21 and 8 countries, respectively, are on track to meet one or two of the World Health Assembly targets on nutrition.
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During the s, agricultural exports from Africa increased fourfold, but imports rose 2. Leaders committed to the ambitious goals of ending hunger and halving poverty in Africa by through increased agricultural productivity, employment opportunities for both women and youth in agricultural value chains, and effective social protection programs. They also pledged to reduce child malnutrition by lowering the rate of stunting and underweight in children under five years to 10 and 5 percent, respectively, by The pledge will help to further drive efforts by countries to scale up nutrition interventions.
By joining the movement, countries have committed to put in place nutrition-sensitive policies and to work with all key stakeholders and mobilize resources needed to scale up specific nutrition interventions. As part of the Malabo Declaration, African leaders committed to tripling intra-African trade in agricultural products and services by This is to be accomplished through investments in trade and market infrastructure and through policy and institutional changes, including establishing a Continental Free Trade Area.
The report states that intra-African trade is increasing, but from a low base: only 34 percent of agricultural exports from African countries stays within the continent. In analyzing three major regional economic communities, the report observes significant potential for regional trade expansion, which could play a greater role in reducing volatility in national food supplies. Its simulation results also suggest that regional trade could be increased significantly through moderate reduction in overall trading costs and removal of nontariff barriers to cross-border trade.
Replacing the former unilateral preference arrangements, EPAs are reciprocal but asymmetric free trade agreements: African countries receive full access to European markets and open the majority of their markets to the EU over time while maintaining the ability to protect their sensitive products.
The agreements must still be ratified and implemented. The benefits of EPAs for African countries remain controversial.
Proponents of these agreements suggest that liberalizing trade will benefit producers and consumers by lowering the prices of inputs and other imported goods, and that the stability provided by the agreements will make African countries more attractive for investors. Detractors argue that 1 increased competition from European imports will hurt producers, undermine local food production and food security, and slow industrialization in Africa, 14 2 African governments will face decreased revenue from tariffs, 15 and 3 EPAs may impede regional integration efforts within Africa.
Several serious crises occurred in that threatened food security and development prospects in the affected and surrounding areas. These included conflicts in northern Mali, northern Nigeria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, several of which led to humanitarian emergencies. In addition, West Africa was struck by the largest outbreak in history of the Ebola virus disease, resulting in thousands of deaths and jeopardizing the food security of many more people. The Ebola outbreak, which began in late , spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone and Liberia throughout the spring and summer of As of February 10, there were an estimated 9, deaths out of 22, reported cases, but the actual death rate was thought to be much higher.
The economic impact and the effects of this outbreak on food security could be disastrous. In a report issued in January , the World Bank estimated that the outbreak would reduce economic growth in Liberia by 3. The effects will continue to be felt throughout At the time of this writing, the Ebola outbreak still had not been contained. While addressing the urgent health needs, measures to prevent the Ebola outbreak from inducing a food crisis are also needed. Possible options include food and cash transfers to affected households and keeping trade open to the extent possible.
And at whatever point the crisis finally abates, there will be a need to restore agricultural production capacities, including by providing farmers access to seeds, fertilizer, and other inputs. In , food security was also severely threatened in countries facing civil insecurity and unrest.
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For example, civil unrest in northern Mali, northern Nigeria, and the Central African Republic caused significant displacement of people from their homes and countries, led to elevated food prices, and caused a deterioration of the food and nutrition security situation in the affected and surrounding countries.
For example, cassava prices in southern Chad rose sharply as a result of disrupted trade flows and the arrival of refugees from Central African Republic; at the same time high rates of acute malnutrition were reported among Central African Republic children in Cameroonian refugee camps. A key tool in enhancing mutual accountability and improving policy effectiveness and outcomes at the country level are agricultural joint sector reviews JSRs.
JSRs are inclusive platforms in which multiple stakeholders review agricultural sector progress and hold each other accountable for commitments. In an initial group of seven countries took part in efforts to improve agricultural sector review processes in terms of comprehensiveness, inclusivity, and technical robustness. National teams, facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute and ReSAKSS, prepared JSR assessments with input from multiple stakeholders that evaluated current agricultural review processes against JSR best practices as well as sector performance and progress against commitments made by governments, donors, and other stakeholders.
Most assessments found that countries were making significant progress in advancing mutual accountability, but called for further improvements in inclusivity of agricultural reviews. Based the findings of its JSR assessment, Senegal drafted a new ministerial decree to establish a JSR process laying out coordination, key activities, reporting procedures, and roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. Meanwhile Burkina Faso revised the language establishing a JSR to enhance its inclusivity and operations.
In addition, findings of the JSR assessments were used in drafting the country-level and overall New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition reports for — Economic growth for Africa south of the Sahara is projected to remain strong, growing at an estimated 5. In particular, as incomes increase, agricultural imports are projected to continue to rise faster than exports, thus widening the trade deficit.
Recent research on the emerging middle class in Eastern and Southern Africa suggests that income growth is leading to dietary changes and rapid increases in the amounts of processed and perishable foods consumed. Although these changes present huge opportunities for the expansion of agribusiness and agribusiness employment, taking advantage of the opportunities while ensuring that smallholders and microenterprises are not left behind will require continued investments and careful policy choices.
The year promises to be one of intense action taken to both translate the various provisions of the Malabo Declaration into implementable programs and expand efforts to establish comprehensive and regular JSRs to more countries. Similarly, protracted civil unrest in northern Mali, northern Nigeria, and the Central African Republic could perpetuate and eventually worsen the negative impacts on livelihoods in the crisis zones. In , stability, or the lack thereof, continued to be a key factor for development and food security outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa MENA region.
Despite, or sometimes because of, often difficult security and fiscal conditions, several countries implemented policy reforms, including fuel subsidy cuts. With a main focus on and beyond, this essay emphasizes how improving capacity for implementation as well as mechanisms of accountability can play a critical role in increasing confidence in government performance and thereby enhance the positive impacts of ongoing and future policy reforms. In recent years civil conflicts and their spillover effects have continued to limit progress in improving economic development and food security in several MENA countries.
In neighboring Iraq, recent advances made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS are threatening economic progress and raising sectarian tensions across the region.
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In Yemen, the modest progress in improving food security made in has likely been reversed by the instability related to the recent insurgency by the Houthis. Similarly, the resurgence of fighting in Libya resulted in negative per capita growth in and Such civil conflicts as these often have implications for security and stability in other countries of the region.
In contrast, transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have helped lead to greater stability and economic development. In Egypt, a strongly improved perception of stability has re-attracted domestic and foreign investment. The most recent data on gross domestic product GDP confirm that investment in was about 20 percent higher than in the previous year, and the economic recovery has been accelerating. GDP expanded by 3. Amid relative stability in and and the largely peaceful elections in October , Tunisians also became more optimistic about the economy and employment Table 1.
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Download larger image of Table 1. In , several countries implemented significant policy reforms in the areas of fuel subsidies, agriculture, and food trade. Public outcry resulting from these reforms varied from nonexistent or minimal in some countries, such as Morocco and Egypt, to violent riots in others, including Sudan. At the extreme end of the spectrum is Yemen, where these reforms likely exacerbated the ongoing civil conflict. In the face of continuously rising food imports, governments have continued to emphasize the importance of agriculture and food trade for building resilience to food price shocks.
In Egypt prepared several laws related to the support of farmer associations, contract farming, crop insurance schemes, and health insurance for farmers. To encourage new production efforts, both Egypt and Jordan introduced higher government procurement prices for wheat during To protect the price of local wheat, Morocco continues to control the customs duties of wheat and subsidizes local wheat importers.
Following the 40 percent reduction in global wheat prices in , the government raised wheat tariffs from 17 to 45 percent in By Saudi Arabia plans to increase its strategic grain reserve capacity by close to 75 percent in order to cover a larger share of its growing annual consumption of wheat. At the regional level, progress has been made in improving access to development-related information with the launching of the first blog on food and nutrition security for the region www.
Looking ahead in , enhancing stability and good governance will likely become even more important for improving food security. Surely, many of the policy actions that need to be urgently tackled remain the same as before the Arab awakening, such as fostering economic transformation and growth that creates jobs, improving the business climate, shifting from subsidies to targeted income transfers, developing innovative solutions for agriculture and water constraints, improving trade and market integration, and leveraging health, nutrition, and education for food security.
For the most part, policy reforms with redistributive consequences, such as those related to food and fuel subsidies, are contentious because they result in winners and losers, be they real or perceived. Therefore, to gain public support for such reforms, citizens need to have sufficient trust that their government can effectively implement reforms and that the promised benefits from reform will materialize.