food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.
ICRC warns Food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.

Red cross warns of dire food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa

Voice of America’s Lisa Schlein writes that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warns of food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.

ICRC is warning that hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa are going hungry due to conflict, climate shocks, and rising food prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The ICRC warns Africa’s food crisis is set to worsen. It says conflict and armed violence, failing harvests due to years of drought, and increases in food and other commodity prices are driving more people into extreme poverty and hunger.

A recent U.N. assessment estimates that 346 million people on the continent face severe food insecurity, meaning one-quarter of the population does not have enough to eat.

The ICRC regional director for Africa, Patrick Youssef, says the situation is urgent. He warns many lives will be lost without a concerted effort by different actors to meet the challenges ahead.

He says aid agencies, international financial institutions, and governments must collaborate to prevent the humanitarian crisis from becoming irreversible.

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Food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.

“As we look at 2023, we know that this will repeat itself. These climate shocks will repeat themselves; food insecurity will remain as acute as it is,” said Youssef.

“It will not end with the calendar year. So, we all will better collectively be prepared for a long haul, for a situation, for a crisis that will certainly increase in size and volume.”

The ICRC reports the war in Ukraine has caused a sharp increase in fuel and fertilizer prices. That, it says, has added significant pressure on farmers, many of whom are weathering the combined impact of conflict and climate shocks.

food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.
ICRC warns of food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Youssef says the Horn of Africa is most seriously affected. He notes, however, that other parts of Africa, from Mauritania to the Sahel to Lake Chad and, to a lesser extent, the Central African Republic, are suffering from the effects of the Ukraine crisis.

“Countries are equally, at least those who are, as you mentioned, so dependent on grains and wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Somalia is the worst–90 percent,” said Youssef.

“But Nigeria has also a large dependency on that. Sudan and South Sudan as well. And, indeed the situation is extremely difficult for people that are inaccessible for humanitarian organizations, such as Somalia.”

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Youssef says the lack of access to people in areas affected by conflict and armed violence, such as Somalia and Burkina Faso raises the challenges to a different level.

The ICRC reports more than 35 armed conflicts are taking place on the continent and around 30 million people are internally displaced and refugees.

The Swiss-based humanitarian agency says people uprooted from their homes are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather, fluctuation in food prices, and hunger.

The Choice Press is an online news portal that seeks to project what the gallant small-scale farmers in Africa are doing. We basically report on everything that has to do with agriculture and agribusiness, especially in Ghana.
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