from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – OVER 346 million are facing a food security crisis in Africa.
This is more than a quarter of the continent’s population.
Millions of families are skipping meals every day, an alarming situation that risks intensifying in the coming months, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned.
“This is a disaster going largely unnoticed,” said Dominik Stillhart, the head of ICRC’s global operations.
“Millions of families are going hungry and children are dying because of malnutrition.”
The food crisis spans across the continent, from Mauritania and Burkina Faso in the west to Somalia and Ethiopia in the east.
The ICRC will ramp up operations in ten countries, in close coordination with other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to support an additional 2,8 million people.
It is scaling up its operations in countries comprising Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
Conflict, climatic shocks like the droughts in East Africa and cumulative poor rainfalls in West Africa, a dramatic rise in displaced people, and surging food and fuel prices have contributed to the overwhelming needs in the region.
The COVID-19 pandemic worsened matters by shattering economies.
Additional challenges include limited access to vulnerable populations due to insecurity.
The armed conflict in Ukraine has also attributed to rising food and fuel costs.
“We need more people on board with this crisis,” Stillhart said.
The envoy called for concerted effort from governments, humanitarian partners, and donors to avert the situation.
“This needs to be the priority,” Stillhart concluded.
– CAJ News