Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will take effect food security on the continentboth through the availability and prices of imported food, along with increased uncertainties in global financial markets and supply chains.
Russia and Ukraine, both often considered the breadbasket of the world, are the main players in the export of wheat and sunflower to Africa.
Between these countries, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Africa, which account for 80% of total wheat imports, are expected to reach 76.5 million tons by 2025.
In a press conference in Geneva on the African impact of the war in Ukraine, Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Africa Office, stating that the COVID-19 The pandemic has created “enormous discontent” across the continent.
COVID has pushed tens of millions of people into poverty and “push back” democracy in parts of Africa, she added.
The UNDP regional director continued, referring to the violent extremism and climate shocks that have destabilized large areas of the Sahel in recent years.
Drawing attention to the “global pandemic that has enveloped the world and changed it forever, the bureau chief said,”we have never experienced greater pressures and challenges in our ability to maintain peace, development and a healthy planet, as we experience it today.. ”
“We have seen how COVID-19 complicates efforts to maintain or remedy the insecurity created by many forces including violent extremism and its impact, consequences, affects lives and livelihoods but also creates great discontent about the community. to a recession in democracy”.
It also leads to an increase in “pre-existing conditions, increasing poverty and inequality,” she added.
UNDP senior economist for Africa, Raymond Gilpin, notes that the continent’s reliance on imports for food, fuel, medicine and consumer goods makes the continent particularly vulnerable to global inflation increased.
Describe the situation as a “an unprecedented crisis for the continent, he explained that Africa is facing a trio of “ongoing effects of COVID… the newly felt effects of the Russo-Ukrainian war and… climate-related challenges and pressures“.
“As fuel costs become more expensive, energy sources, energy prices do not fall in African countries, we will see millions of households turning back to unsustainable sources of energy, and this in many fragile environments, especially considering places like the Sahel,” Mr. Gilpin said.
“We will see more deforestation and the return of a substantial progress already made in greening the Sahel.”
Furthermore, tensions are likely to increase, with a “different possibility” of erupting into violent protests, he added.
The visit of the head of the United Nations
Meanwhile, in a visit Senegal Last Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres speak, “When discussing the socio-economic situation, it is impossible not to mention the war in Ukraine and its impact on Africa,“Exacerbating the “triad food, energy and financial crisis” across the African continent.