one in every seven of the acutely food insecure people in the world lives in Western Africa where hunger has quadrupled in 2022.
Even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict, people in the region were facing a perfect storm of the four “Cs” – climate change, conflict, COVID-19 and the rising cost of food and fuel, pushing millions of the poorest and most vulnerable toward food and nutrition insecurity.
One of the most immediate additional impacts of the conflict in Ukraine is on food production. West Africa is facing a major and unprecedented fertiliser deficit (1.2-1.5m tons, equivalent to 10-20m tons of grain), expected to reduce by up to 25 percent agricultural production in 2022 and beyond.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict is further undermining the abilities of African governments and development partners to address the adverse effects of the four “Cs” by disrupting supply chains, contributing to inflation and indebtedness, and heightening inequalities and vulnerabilities in a context still confronting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food systems in Western Africa are characterized by long, concentrated, energy-intensive supply chains. This situation, when combined with other trends and lack of economic resilience, has made the region uniquely vulnerable to the supply chain disruptions precipitated by the Ukraine conflict.
Global food price increases, and regional and international trade restrictions and supply chain disruptions, are harming access to and availability of much-needed global food and non-food commodities in the region.
Unaffordability of food at ten year highs is contributing to drastically rising cost of living caused by food and fuel prices, and exacerbating malnutrition at a time when half of households already cannot afford nutritious food and malnutrition rates are at their highest. This could also fuel further unrest across the region.
Finally, the conflict in Ukraine is impacting the capacity of humanitarian actors. WFP has increased operational costs, while facing the risk of reduced funding.
Source: World Food Programme