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阿拉伯粮食问题远比官方数字严重

所属:听力板块 来源:voa 阅读:1968 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:一项新近出台的报告指出,阿拉伯国家面临着粮食安全方面的挑战。这个地区的贫穷率远高于官方的统计数字。报告将这项问题,归咎于粮价的不稳定、自然灾害以及水资源缺乏等因素。

 阿拉伯粮食问题远比官方数字严重


A new report says Arab countries face a serious food security challenge and that poverty rates are much higher than official numbers suggest.

It blames the situation on vulnerability to volatile food prices, natural disasters and water scarcity.

The International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, says its report shows a more realistic picture of the Arab world.

"In general, we know way too little about the food security and poverty in the Arab world and that has several reasons. And one of the major reasons is that the access and availability to data is really limited," said Clemens Breisinger, an IFPRI research fellow and lead author of the report.

IFPRI said its report – Beyond the Arab Awakening – uses "innovative research methods and diverse sources of information."

"The first message of that report is essentially the poverty and food security situation may be much worse than suggested by official numbers. And the kind of policy implication out of this is [that] in the wake of the Arab awakening and the whole drive for more transparency, a major issue to tackle is also data availability and access in order to improve decision making and information of the people," he said.

Breisinger said the Arab world has a number of factors that make it distinct from other regions.

"Number one, it's the most food import dependent region in the world. It imports more than 50 percent of its food consumption and is by far the highest [such rate] in the world. At the same time, agriculture potential is somewhat limited. That is severely constrained mainly by water and exacerbated by climate change," said Breisinger.

Adding to that is a high population growth rate, second only to sub-Saharan Africa. So consumer demand puts a strain on food supplies.

"Given the supply constraints – more demand no matter what – they will further drift apart. So the food gap will increase, which obviously increases the vulnerability of that region to global food price shocks – the ones that we saw in 2008 and to some extent in 2010," he said.

The IFPRI report also raised concerns about high child "under nutrition" rates. Breisinger described children as the most vulnerable segment in society, while at the same time being society's greatest asset.

"If children are malnourished at any time between zero and 5 years, that actually has long-term implications. Reduces their IQ, their productivity and thus overall the prospects for the country," he said.

The report said Egypt has seen an increase in child "under nourishment" over the past 8 years." A very high prevalence of child "under nutrition" rates is reported in such countries as Sudan, Somalia, Comoros and Yemen.
It says, often, not enough of the household income is spent on food, saying in Yemen, for example, 25 percent is spent on Khat. U.S. narcotic experts say chewing Khat leaves "can induce a state of euphoria and elation, as well as increase alertness and arousal."

The International Food Policy Research Institute recommended that Arab countries collect better data on their populations regarding poverty and food security. It also says greater emphasis should be placed on creating jobs by increasing exports other than oil. Finally, it says government spending on agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and social protection is "most critical."

The IFPRI report was released in Beirut at the Food Secure Arab World conference (2/6-7) sponsored by IFPRI, the U.N. and the Social Commission for Western Asia.

一项新近出台的报告指出,阿拉伯国家面临着粮食安全方面的挑战。这个地区的贫穷率远高于官方的统计数字。报告将这项问题,归咎于粮价的不稳定、自然灾害以及水资源缺乏等因素。

这份报告是国际粮食政策研究所发表的。这个机构指出,他们的报告显示出阿拉伯世界更为实际的一面。

报告的主要撰写人、研究员布莱星厄说:“总的来说,我们对阿拉伯世界的粮食安全以及贫困问题了解的太少。其中一个主要的原因是数据的来源以及取得的途径十分有限。”

粮政策研究所说,他们这份定名为“超越阿拉伯的觉醒”的调查方法,是用先进的研究以及多方面的资讯来源进行的。

布莱星厄还说:“这份报告带来的第一个讯息,主要是这个地区的贫困和粮食安全问题可能远比官方数字资料更糟。这份报告意味着在阿拉伯世界觉醒之际,整个运动趋向于更加透明化。另外需要解决的重大问题是讯息的来源和取得,以便改善决策的制订以及来自民间的讯息等。”

布莱星厄说,由于几项因素,阿拉伯世界和其它地区有显著的不同。

他指出:“第一,阿拉伯世界是世界上靠外地进口粮食最多的地区。他们进口的粮食,占消耗总量的百分之50以上,这绝对是全世界最高的比率。同时,这个地区的农业发展潜能有限。主要原因是严重受限于水资源问题以及恶化中的气候变化问题。”

使问题雪上加霜的,是人口的高增长率。阿拉伯世界人口的增长,仅次于非洲撒哈拉以南地区。

布莱星厄说:“以供应问题为例,需求总是在增加,使供需之间的鸿沟越来越大。因此,粮食供不应求,明显地使这个地区更容易受到世界粮价攀升的冲击。例如2008年和2010年内某些期间所发生的。”

国际粮食政策研究所的报告,也提出对高比率儿童营养不良的的关切。布莱星厄形容儿童尽管是是社区最大的资产,但也是最容易受害的一群。

他说:“如果幼儿在出生后到五岁之间任何时期营养不足,所受到的影响是长期的。他们的智商和创造力会减弱,因此对整个国家的未来造成影响。”

这项报告说,过去八年来,埃及出现与日俱增的儿童营养不良问题。报告也指出,在苏丹、索马里、科摩罗和也门,也普遍存在高比率的儿童营养不足问题。

报告指出,这些地区的一般家庭,通常缺乏足够的收入来购买食物。例如在也门,家庭收入的百分之25用来购买一种叫做“咖特”的阿拉伯茶叶。美国毒品专家说,咀嚼这种特殊茶叶,会产生一种情绪高昂和精神亢奋的情况。

国际粮食政策研究所建议阿拉伯国家,对于本国人口中的贫困以及粮食安全问题,搜集更可靠的资料。这个研究所还说,阿拉伯国家除了输出石油以外,还应该出口更多的商品,以创造更多的工作机会。报告最后它指出,这些国家在农业、教育、卫生、基础建设以及社会保障上的支出,才是最重要的。

由国际粮食政策研究所、联合国以及亚西社会委员会赞助在贝鲁特举行了阿拉伯世界粮食安全会议,这项报告是在这个会议上发表的。

标签:voa standard
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2012-02-08 18:49 编辑:pliny
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