West Africa Facing Food Crisis as Coronavirus Spreads
By Emmanuel Akinwotu
More than 43 million people in west Africa are likely to be in urgent need of food assistance in the coming months – double the initial estimates – as the Covid-19 outbreak accelerates, the World Food Programme has said.
Food insecurity could also double this year to affect 265 million people across the continent; west Africa, where the outbreak of the virus is most severe, is of increasing concern.
The region faces the three-pronged threat of surging jihadi attacks across the Sahel and Lake Chad area, climate change harming vital food supply chains, and now the pandemic.
The WFP had estimated a 70% rise in food insecurity to 21 million people in west Africa this year before the outbreak, but now anticipates a further 22 million becoming reliant on food aid by August, unless major steps are taken.
Photo courtesy of UN Women / Ryan Brown.