Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Wednesday that the White House will host a conference on hunger, nutrition and health in September for the first time since 1969 “to accelerate progress and drive significant change to end hunger, improve nutrition and physical activity, reduce diet-related disease, and close the disparities around them.”
“Hunger, diet-related disease, and the disparities surrounding them impact millions of Americans, and the COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the urgency of addressing these issues,” said Ambassador Susan E. Rice, White House Domestic Policy Advisor. “No one should have to wonder where their next meal will come from. We must take bold steps now—with government, the private sector, non-profits, and communities working together—to build a healthier future for every American.”
The conference comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine is exacerbating hunger around the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa released last Thursday that Africa’s economic growth was expected to slow to 3.8 percent this year from 4.5 percent in 2021 mainly because of Russia’s war in Ukraine that has triggered a sharp rise in commodity prices, strained the fiscal and external balances of commodity-importing countries and increased food-security concerns across the region.
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