June 14, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

‘Hey, Nigeria: hunger looms, starvestion to death imminent’

THIS is no politics: catastrophic floods in West Africa threaten food security for years to come in the Kournari climatic region and Nigeria may be one of the worst hit.
The United Nations food programme says there is need for urgent remedial action.
General view shows the submerged red sorghum field after heavy rain in KourWest and Central Africa has faced increasing risks caused by higher temperatures and erratic rainfall.
War in Ukraine has contributed to food and fertilizer shortages in one of the world’s poorest regions and sorrounding economies.
The number of people without regular access to safe and nutritious food is projected to hit 48 million during the June-August lean season, according to a regional food security analysis presented by the U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP), humanitarian agency OCHA, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and children’s agency UNICEF.
That is driven in part by the plight of countries in the semi-arid Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert including Mali and Burkina Faso which are battling an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and displaced around 2.5 million.
A record 45,000 people in the Sahel are expected to face catastrophic hunger, a level just short of famine, according to the agencies.
Fighting has cut off food supply routes in parts of the Sahel and other conflict hotspots around Lake Chad and in Central African Republic, said Alexandre Lecuziat, the WFP’s senior Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisor.
“We see areas that are completely blocked,” he said at a joint press conference in Dakar, explaining how the high cost of hiring helicopters to reach these zones depletes the funds available for buying food.
The forecast of food shortages mean around 16.5 million children under five face acute malnutrition this year, according to the analysis.
The region’s dependence on imports has made it vulnerable to high global inflation rates even though many parts of West Africa saw improved rainfall in 2022 and an increase in cereal production.
“It is time for action to boost agricultural production to achieve food sovereignty in our region,” said Robert Guei, the FAO’s sub-regional co-ordinator for West Africa.