In the week the Swaziland Government was caught out doctoring an official United Nations document to make it look like hunger in the kingdom was improving, comes an international report revealing the truth - it has got worse over the past 20 years.
Today, 18 percent of Swaziland’s one million people are in hunger (compared to 12 percent in 1990); 6.1 percent of children under five are underweight, compared to 8.1 percent in 1992.
A report from the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) concludes that Swaziland has moved from being a nation with a ‘moderate’ hunger problem to one with a ‘serious’ problem.
In its report IFPRI states, ‘In Swaziland, the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS, coupled with high inequality, has severely undermined food security despite higher national incomes.’
The IFPRI report, which has received publicity all over the world, tells the true picture of what is happening in Swaziland. Earlier this week it was revealed that the Swazi Government lied to the United Nations in a report on the progress it was making to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on hunger and poverty.
It claimed that it could ‘potentially’ meet the target to halve hunger and poverty by 2015, when the report’s authors concluded it was ‘not likely’ to meet it.
A source told the Times of Swaziland, the only independent daily newspaper in Swaziland, that Cabinet ministers demanded the changes because the truth ‘made it seem as if they were not doing their jobs’ and ‘might actually lead to their dismissal’.