Russia’s War on Ukraine Compounds Food Crisis in West Africa
The number of people going hungry in West Africa has reached its highest level in decades, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exacerbating a food crisis that was already threatening millions of people and straining fragile, coronavirus-ravaged economies.
“The number of hungry people has quadrupled between 2019 and 2022,” Ollo Sib, the World Food Programme’s regional adviser for research, assessment and monitoring, said at a media briefing in Geneva on Friday. “We’re facing an unprecedented and complex hunger crisis in West Africa with multiple structural vulnerabilities and shocks.”
Some 43 million people are food insecure in West Africa and the Central African Republic, and six million children in the Sahel region are undernourished, according to the WFP. It warned that farmers in the region who were already struggling to feed their families due to the impact of a 2021 drought, border closures because of the coronavirus pandemic and recent coups in Mali and Burkina Faso now also face surging food prices.
Photo courtesy of EU/ECHO/Edward Echwalu.