May 17

Averting an African Food Crisis in the Wake of the Ukraine War


In Nigeria in the late 1960s, one million people died of starvation during the Biafran war. A decade and a half later, food shortages and hunger in Ethiopia triggered by a natural disaster cost the lives of 1 million Africans.

Today, a fresh disaster — the war in Ukraine — threatens to plunge the continent into yet another episode of famine and deprivation.

Fourteen African countries depend on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports, while almost half the continent depends on imports for more than a third of their wheat. Apart from the looming supply constraints, this crisis has already pushed food grain prices up by more than 25% in a matter of weeks. Some countries are bracing for supply shortfalls.

Photo courtesy of Mozambique – Massaca Reservoir Water Collection Agric – John Hogg.

Source: World Economic Forum (link opens in a new window)

food security, global development