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Sunday, 30 November 2014

SWAZIS AMONG HUNGRIEST IN WORLD




Swaziland is the seventh hungriest country in the world, according to a United Nations report.
A total of 35.8 of Swaziland’s 1.3 million population are undernourished, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said.

The report is just one in a long list to draw attention to the plight of ordinary Swazi people. About seven in ten of the population, in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, live in abject poverty, with incomes of less than US$2 a day.

In October 2014, the Office of the Swaziland Deputy Prime Minister Paul Dlamini reported that 223,249 people were estimated to require interventions aimed at maintaining their livelihood and at least 67,592 of the Swazi population required immediate food assistance. This was contained in a report from the kingdom’s Vulnerability Assessment Committee.

Earlier in 2014, the Global Hunger Index report published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) revealed the proportion of people who were undernourished more than doubled in Swaziland since 2004-2006 and in 2011-2013 was 35.8 percent of the kingdom’s 1.3 million population or about 455,000 people.

IFPRI reported that since 1990, life expectancy in Swaziland fell by ten years, amounting to only 49 years in 2012.

IFPRI defines undernourishment as an inadequate intake of food - in terms of either quantity or quality.

The latest reports underscore numerous previous surveys demonstrating the state of hunger in the kingdom. While seven in ten of the population live in abject poverty, the King has 14 wives, 13 palaces, a private jet and fleets of BMW and Mercedes cars. 

In 2012, three separate reports from the World Economic Forum, United Nations and the Institute for Security Studies all concluded the Swazi Government was largely to blame for the economic recession and subsequent increasing number of Swazis who had to skip meals.

The reports listed low growth levels, government wastefulness and corruption, and lack of democracy and accountability as some of the main reasons for the economic downturn that led to an increasing number of hungry Swazis.

Poverty is so grinding in Swaziland that some people, close to starvation, are forced to eat cow dung in order to fill their stomachs before they can take ARV drugs to treat their HIV status.  In 2011, newspapers in Swaziland reported the case of a woman who was forced to take this drastic action. Once the news went global, apologists for King Mswati denounced the report as lies.

In July 2012, Nkululeko Mbhamali, Member of Parliament for Matsanjeni North, said people in the Swaziland lowveld area had died of hunger at Tikhuba.

See also

HUNGER INCREASES IN SWAZILAND

GOVT ‘DELIBERATELY STARVING PEOPLE’

CORRUPTION ‘LEADS TO STARVATION’

FEAR OF MASS HUNGER IN SWAZILAND

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