Cabo Verde: ‘Unprecedented’ food insecurity triggers social and economic emergency |

UN agency at risk of recent hard-won achievements in food security and nutrition speakforced the government this week to declare a state of economic and social emergency.

If no urgent action is taken, the crisis will severely disrupt access to food and agricultural production, putting more people at risk as the country is largely dependent on food imports. to meet your needs.

The community is at risk

“The current level of food insecurity is unprecedented. Dr Gouantoueu Robert Guei said that, unless appropriate measures are taken urgently, agricultural production, livestock production and the livelihoods of rural communities are under serious threat. FAO West Africa Sub-Region Coordinator and its Representative in Senegal.

The crisis was fueled by a combination of factors, including years of drought, which resulted in significant reductions in food production and loss of grazing land.

COVID-19 It has also been dealt a heavy blow as the country relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for more than 60% of gross domestic product, while nearly 70% of the population works in the sector.

The pandemic has disrupted the economy, causing tourism revenue to drop by nearly 80% in just two years.

Impact of the war in Ukraine

The situation is exacerbated by the impact of the war in Ukraine, which is affecting global food and energy markets, disrupting supply chains and causing food prices to spike. The poorest have been disproportionately affected.

In April, WFPTogether with the government of Cape Verde and the sister agency of the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), conducted a review mission in the country.

The results show that vulnerable families in rural areas are reducing the number of their meals and eating less, sometimes just once a day, as food stocks dwindle and wages rise. actually hit a record high.

School feeding program at risk

Furthermore, farmers are selling off their livestock, while reducing milk and cheese production. The country also suffered a 34% rainfall deficit last season, resulting in the region’s biggest drop in grain production in 2021 last year, with a staggering 93% cut.

Cape Verde is also home to the first nationally owned school feeding program in West Africa, which supports vulnerable families and helps prevent a reversal in enrollment and attendance rates.

The program is also now in danger of being suspended due to the government’s inability to provide all the necessary goods.

Call for support

“The current situation in Cape Verde highlights the fragility of food and social protection systems in the coastal countries of West Africa,” said Elvira Pruscini, WFP’s Deputy Regional Director for West Africa.

“It is vital that we work together now to help the Government maintain essential social safety net programs and meet the immediate food and nutrition needs of vulnerable communities. dearest”.

WFP and FAO are seeking $15 million to support the Government’s two-year response plan to strengthen national safety net programs such as school meals, support resilience building activities, and more. restore and promote agricultural production.

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