Kenya to shift from reliance on food aid

July 15, 2009 12:00 am

, SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, Jul 15  – Kenya and other developing countries are moving away from reliance on food aid to aggressively embrace sustainable agricultural production in order to attain food security, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.

The VP who was speaking at the opening of the 15th Non Alignment Movement’s Heads of State and Government Summit at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, welcomed the $20 billion announced at the G8 summit in Italy last week for promoting agricultural programmes in the developing world.

"This will help countries shift from reliance on rain-fed agriculture to irrigation to increase productivity," said Mr Musyoka.

He told the delegates from the 77 member states also called G77 that developing countries need to find home grown solutions to the many challenges faced on a daily basis.

"Climate change, pandemics and poverty have hit our membership the most.  Under the current situation the possibility of most African countries meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by the year 2015 target now seems remote," the VP said.

Mr Musyoka pointed out that the financial crisis has impacted negatively on trade, finance and capital flows, which developing countries need for their economic programmes to succeed.

The NAM outgoing chairman and Cuban President Raul Castro, the incoming chairman, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon were among 31 heads of state and governments attending and addressing the two-day summit.

Others are Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Nigeria’s Musa Yar Adua, Libya’s Muamar Gaddafi, and Ghana’s John Attar Mills.

Defence Assistant Minister Joseph Nkaissery and Sports Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando are accompanying the VP.

As the VP took his seat at the start of the meeting,  it was clear that the movement created as a Buffer zone between the two great cold war rivals-USSR and USA-had transformed in objective and character.

Gone is the bipolar world order under which NAM was created 50 years ago in Belgrade , Yugoslavia, gone also are most of the alignments, either to the East or the west. In place is a more homogenous globe facing almost similar challenges.

In the NAM, now also the G77, the most pressing issues as the leaders gather in Sharm el Sheik , Egypt, are concerns over pandemics, rising poverty, effects of climate change and conflicts within and among some member states.

The leaders also meet amid growing optimism as the economies of some key member states such China, Brazil, India among others rise to global player status.

The twin themes of this year’s summit are: "International Solidarity for Peace and Development" and the "International Financial and its impact on Movement at least to changed realities.


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