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Impending hunger crisis threatens over 55 million in Central and West Africa

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 13:09
Impending hunger crisis threatens over 55 million in Central and West Africa

(Ecofin Agency) - About 55 million people in Central and West Africa face the risk of hunger between June and August, according to a March 2024 analysis by the Harmonized Framework on food security, released by the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). This forecast marks an increase of 4 million individuals compared to the organization's previous prediction made last November for the same period. The figure is also four times higher than the average recorded over the past five years in these regions.

Despite two decades of increased agricultural production, food insecurity remains a challenge in Africa. Economic difficulties and prolonged conflicts have severely limited regular access to sufficient food for many populations. The CILSS attributes this dire forecast to several economic challenges facing West and Central African countries, including currency devaluations, inflation, stagnating production, and trade barriers, all of which impair people's ability to access food.

The situation is particularly alarming in Mali, where around 2,600 individuals are expected to face famine conditions, especially in the northern part of the country, which has been plagued by ongoing conflicts since August 2023. Other highly vulnerable countries include Nigeria, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.

Margot Vandervelden, the Acting Regional Director for the World Food Programme (WFP) in West Africa, emphasized the urgency of the situation. “The time to act is now. We need all partners to step up, engage, adopt, and implement innovative programs to prevent the situation from getting out of control while ensuring no one is left behind,” she stated.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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