MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University will serve as a link site for the 2003 World Food Day Teleconference. The theme of this year’s event is “Collaboration or Calamity: Africa in Peril.”  

The teleconference is scheduled from noon-3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. Individuals may view it with a group in the PEIF room 241. There is no charge to attend. They may also watch the discussion on their own on the universityÂ’s channel 20.

Mohey Mowafy, a professor of health, physical education and recreation at NMU, said the mounting human tragedy in sub-Saharan Africa is a culmination of several factors. These include HIV/AIDS, land and water issues, devastated agriculture, repeated and perpetual wars, poverty, worldwide economic stagnation, and a population explosion.

“The monumental size of the problem and its complexity calls for nothing less than an unprecedented rescue effort by an engaged and committed world alliance,” Mowafy said. “Because of the many factors involved in the problem, an alternative and holistic approach is needed, rather than focusing on the limited feature of a food shortage.”

He added that AIDS killed 2.4 million Africans in 2002 and infected 3.5 million new victims. In addition, nearly 3 million Africans under the age of 15 were found to be living with HIV last year.

“While combating this particular tragedy will hinge on many crutches, it is a fundamental knowledge that nutrient and caloric requirements in such cases are far more than those for a healthy individual,” Mowafy said. “This renders starvation a worst enemy in the fight against the disease.”

For more information on the 2003 World Food Day Teleconference, contact Mowafy at 227-2366.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director