The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1.5 billion emergency programme to alleviate the impact of worsening food insecurity due to the Ukraine war, yesterday.
More than a quarter of Africa’s people, 346 million, are facing a food security crisis that has millions of families skipping meals every day, an alarming hunger situation that risks intensifying in the coming months. – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
One of the regions affected by food insecurity is West Africa. “What we are witnessing right now is 27 million people in West Africa who are affected by what you can consider as the worst food crisis in the past 10 years.”- Assalama Dawalack Sidi, Oxfam Regional Director for West and Central Africa
Oxfam states that if no action is taken, 11 million more people will join this group making it 38 million people who will be affected. This is 40% higher than last years numbers at the same time and is 4 times more than the numbers seen 10 years ago.
Here in Kenya, more and more families are going hungry each day. According to the National Drought Management Authority, the drought situation continues to bite in 17 of the 23 ASAL (Arid Semi-Arid Land) counties. The number of people in need of assistance has increased from 3.1 million in February to 3.5 million currently. Eight counties
namely Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo, Turkana and Laikipia are in Alarm drought phase while Nine counties including Garissa, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Tana River, Lamu, Meru (North), Nyeri (Kieni) and West Pokot are in Alert drought phase. The remaining five (5) counties including Kajiado, Narok, Makueni, Taita Taveta, and Embu (Mbeere) are in Normal drought phase. While one county, Tharaka Nithi, is in the recovery phase.
The issue of food security is affected by a mix of factors, one of them being climate change and the other is the general global high cost of living caused by the Ukraine-Russian conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. In approving $1.5 billion, African Development Bank, seeks to avert the looming food crisis in Africa caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. In testifying of the global food insecurity, Senator Coons, Chair of the Senate subcommittee, emphasized, “We should be concerned and even alarmed about the widening food security crisis that this war is causing for hundreds of millions far beyond Eastern Europe,” he said. Senator Graham expressed support for the establishment of a global fund for food security.
With this in the pipeline, African states await to see the impact of the funding especially for the most affected regions like West, Central and Eastern Africa.