Affordability of healthy diet poses greatest challenge to Africa – FAO

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Assistant Director General and Regional Representative for Africa Abebe Haile-Gabriel, has warned that  affordability of healthy diet poses the greatest challenge in Africa, where a healthy diet is beyond the means of nearly a billion people compare to other regions.

Gabriel stated this in an opinion write up titled: “A healthy diet must not be a luxury for Africans,” recently, saying the cost of a healthy diet is above the international poverty line, meaning that people earning less than US$1.90 per day cannot afford to eat adequate calories and nutrients from diverse food groups.

He said in sub-Saharan Africa, a healthy diet costs 3.2 times more than the poverty line, and the situation is even worse in countries with a protracted crisis such as conflict, adding that the poverty line itself needs to be reviewed to include the cost of nutritious food as a basic cost of living.

Gabriel further said bold actions are needed to transform food systems, make healthy diets affordable and drive progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

“Hunger is on the rise in all regions of Africa, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and a healthy diet has become an out-of-reach luxury item for many Africans.

Even without considering the impacts of COVID-19, Africa is significantly off track to meet the agreed goal of ending hunger by 2030.

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