He cites the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate-induced impacts, and rising costs as reasons.
The United Nations is warning that 18 million people in Africa’s Sahel region will face severe hunger in the next three months, citing the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, climate-induced impacts and rising the costs.
The hunger crisis may push more people to migrate out of affected areas, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday.
The greatest number of people are at risk of severe hunger in the entire region since 2014, with four countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger) facing “alarming levels”, with nearly 1.7 million people facing levels of hunger. food shortage emergency there. according to the UN agency.
Parts of the Sahel region, a vast territory that stretches south of the Sahara desert, have faced their worst agricultural output in more than a decade. Food shortages could worsen as the lean season hits in late summer, said Tomson Phiri, spokesman for the UN World Food Program.
“The situation will definitely get worse before it gets better,” he told reporters in Geneva. “It is possible that we will see more people trying to make ends meet by migrating – it is a very, very likely possibility.”
Many people from the region are among the migrants seeking to travel to northern Europe in hopes of economic opportunity, more stability and security.
“A combination of violence, insecurity, deep poverty and record food prices is exacerbating malnutrition and pushing millions of people to the brink of survival,” OCHA director Martin Griffiths said in a statement.
“The recent increase in food prices caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine threatens to turn a food security crisis into a humanitarian disaster,” he said. Those two countries are key producers of wheat, barley and other agricultural products, and the conflict has almost completely stopped exports through the Black Sea.
OCHA is releasing $30 million from its emergency relief fund for the four African countries.
Humanitarian groups earlier this year launched appeals seeking $3.8 billion in aid for the region in 2022, but only got 12 per cent of the funding, OCHA said.