Eritrea: Outcome of endeavors towards achieving food security witnessed in 2009 - President Isaias

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Asmara, 1 January 2010 - In the first part of an interview he gave tonight in connection with the New Year, President Isaias Afwerki said that the outcome of endeavors towards achieving food security was witnessed in 2009.

Stressing the need for redouble efforts for still greater achievement in the New Year, the President indicated that the recurrent drought in the Horn of Africa is not only the result of natural cause but also due to the failure of seeking a lasting solution to the problem on the part of individuals or governments. As far as Eritrea is concerned, concerted action has been and continues to be taken to tackle the problem, he elaborated.

President Isaias further explained that on top of the endeavors made to achieve food security through developing the agriculture sector, major programs are equally in the process of implementation towards harnessing marine resources. In this respect, the President asserted that there would exist no food shortage in 2010.

Regarding social services, especially education and health, he indicated that big budget has been allocated for in both sectors, and that the necessary educational facilities would be put in place in various colleges, secondary and primary educational institutions. Moreover, close attention would be given to the task of nurturing educated nationals both in numbers and quality, besides creating conducive ground for teachers and ensuring respect for their profession, the President added.

President Isaias went on to say that teachers and health professionals serving in remote areas with dedication deserve the requisite support in a manner that alleviates their cost of living, besides extending assistance to their family members left behind.

Noting the commendable progress made in the expansion of health services in all parts of the country, he nonetheless underlined the need for mounting still more efforts towards further expanding and rendering quality health services. To this end, vigorous endeavors are underway to ensure adequate supply of drugs and raise the number of health professionals, the President stated.

President Isaias also highlighted the need to strive for putting in place housing facilities along with potable water supply, electricity, roads and educational opportunities. He further explained that plans have been mapped out to construct residential houses in various areas in 2010/2011 that take into consideration needy nationals. In this connection, the President said that priority would be given to those citizens who have been serving the nation with devotion for many years.

President Isaias indicated that members of the National Service Program who have been fulfilling their duties over the past 10 years would receive due reward.