World

Food insecurity imminent in African Sahel region

Report by UN and EU on food crisis has predicted that the impact of severe dry weather on crop and livestock production is likely to heighten food insecurity in pastoral areas.

The areas are Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia and eastern Kenya, and in the Sahel in Senegal, Chad, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso, the report said.

The report said that Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan are among the countries that faced the worst food crises in 2017, the UN and EU said Thursday.

Yemen also features among the countries that hosted some 124 million people worldwide whose food security was under acute threat, the two organisations said in an annual report.

“Conflicts and climate-related shocks have recently sent levels of world hunger marching back up, following decades of steady decline.”

The figure of 124 million is 15 per cent higher than the number in 2016.

The report says was untouched while pointing out that in Africa, the Middle East and in parts of South Asia, conflict and insecurity undermined food security.

“Likewise, persistent drought in the Horn of Africa, floods in Asia, and hurricanes in Latin America and the Caribbean have all contributed to the spread and intensification of hunger.”

Looking ahead, the report said that conflict and insecurity were likely to “remain major drivers of food security crises in 2018, affecting Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, north-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen as well as Libya and the central Sahel (Mali and Niger)”.

Yemen will continue to be the largest food crisis by far, the report said.

“The situation is expected to deteriorate, particularly because of restricted access, economic collapse and outbreaks of disease.”

On a more optimistic note, the report predicted that southern Africa was headed for a better year thanks to bumper cereal production in 2017 and falling food prices.

The report was presented by the European Union, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

Source: Africareview

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