World Food Programme: Hunger in West Africa reaches record high in a decade as the region faces an unprecedented crisis exacerbated by Russia-Ukraine conflict (08.04.2022)

Needs are escalating much faster than we are currently able to respond – this in an immensely complex and volatile operational environment.

DAKAR, Senegal, April 8, 2022 – The number of women, men and children affected by a food and nutrition crisis in West and Central Africa is expected to reach a new record high in June 2022 – quadrupling in just three years from 10.7 million in 2019 to 41 million in 2022 – unless appropriate measures are urgently taken, reveals the Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis released in March 2022.

Following the high-level conference in Paris on food security and nutrition situation in West Africa, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are calling for longer-term political and financial commitments to address the worst food security and nutrition crisis to strike the region in ten years.

“The situation is spiralling out of control. Needs are escalating much faster than we are currently able to respond – this in an immensely complex and volatile operational environment,” said Chris Nikoi, WFP’s Regional Director for West Africa.

“Both governments and partners need a step-change in tackling the underlying drivers of hunger and malnutrition. Bold and rigorous political actions are needed now, including lifting barriers to the regional trade and ensuring the most acute needs are met during a lean season that is projected to be extremely challenging in the region” Nikoi added.

There is a high risk that the food and nutrition crisis will be further aggravated due to persistent insecurity that continues to trigger massive population displacement, the impact of the climate crisis, disrupted food systems, limited food production, barriers to regional trade and the socioeconomic fallout from the pandemic which has devastated national economies. Furthermore, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is violently disrupting the global trade of food, fertilisers and oil products, with the already high prices of agricultural products reaching record highs not seen in the region since 2011.

While the increase in staple food prices has been steady in all countries in the region, a staggering 40 percent jump from the 5-year average has been witnessed in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Mali and Mauritania – pushing basic meals out of reach for millions of women, men and children.

“This unprecedented food crisis the region is facing offers an opportunity for us to address the root causes of food insecurity in the sub-region by developing food and agricultural systems that are less dependent on external shocks, and a more productive and efficient local agriculture with a particular emphasis on the consumption of local food products” said Dr Gouantoueu Robert Guei, Sub-Regional Coordinator for West Africa and FAO representative in Senegal.

The nutritional situation also remains a grave concern in the region, particularly in the Sahelian countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad where an estimated six million children under five are likely to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2022. Nutritional analyses conducted across the Sahel and in Nigeria point to a crisis or emergency situation in several locations in Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.

“Africa has the largest untapped potential of arable land, yet most of these countries import food. Governments need to support long-term agriculture plans for the next generation, including investments in developing agriculture, livestock and fisheries to achieve food security”, said Benoit Thierry, IFAD Regional representative in West Africa.

The March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé projections suggest that in coastal countries, the number of food insecure people has doubled since 2020, rising from 3 million people in the June-August 2020 period to over 6 million in June-August 2022. This includes nearly 110,000 people facing Emergency (Phase 4) levels of food insecurity. The coastal region is likely to experience further increases in food prices and disruptions in the supply of agricultural products (especially fertilizers), due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“Acute food insecurity is no longer restricted to the Sahel; it is expanding into Costal countries. We need to respond in a way that is sustainable, at the right scale, and that tackles the multifaceted socio-political and socio-economic elements of the crises the region faces. This will only be achieved through enhanced collaboration, coordination mechanisms at national and regional levels, and leadership at all levels, including from governments, donors, and UN agencies” Nikoi added.

Liberia: Movement for Accountability, Transparency & Equality in Margibi County (MATCM) – Press Statement (17.06.2021)

Opinion: Weah should be happy with the talk of “Christopolis”

In Monrovia, the city named after the 5th United States President James Monroe. Who was an slave-owner. This name has gotten under pressure and been put into question as the Black Lives Matters movement have touched upon this in Liberia.

I am sure President George Weah is happy about that. That the public are stirring and questioning the name of the capital. That people are busy looking into the history of the name of the City. If it should be renamed or return the name of Christopolis. The name it had until 1824, as the American Colonization Society (ACS) gave the city the name of Monrovia, which we know it as today.

So, in year 2020 after Christ we are busy thinking about the name of the capital. While the government are stealing pensions, stealing salaries and loosing funds like drunk sea-men. The government are busy wasting public funds, instead of paying civil servants and public officials. They are eating of the plate of the general public and the concern is on a name of a place.

If Monrovia changes to Christopolis. It will still be a town of money-hungry politicians. It will still be filled a corrupt President. Who used to score goals for AC Milan, but is preoccupied filling up new envelopes. Missing millions, missing cargo and all the sort of ordinary scheming play to earn fortunes on the public. These games are known and they are rampant now.

Weah likes this and would hope it continues like this. There can be new demonstrations and the condemnations from the Council of Patriots. They can all continue to hamper on this, instead of focusing on the dire corruption and thieving in office.

I am sure George Weah is super happy that the name is getting traction. That people are talking about the long forgotten and dead President Monroe. That the name of Monrovia is becoming questionable. It gives him space to continue with his incompetent and inept leadership of the Republic.

He can continue to loose containers, millions and not being able to pay out salaries. Everyone is busy with the name.

Monrovia or Christopolis. No matter what name the city have, the current leadership is corrupt and stealing with a fast pace. It is just a matter of scheme and technique. That is it really.

Weah wants a hatrick and wants to win. He continues to do so. A name won’t change a thing. His already in office and his eating. Peace.

CEDEAO – Communique Final: Session Extraordinaire de la Conférence Des Chefs d’Etat Et De Gouvernement de la CEDEAO (Par Visioconférence, le 23 avril 2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (27.02.2020)

CEDEAO: Communique (21.02.2020)

Opinion: Weah’s Corruption pledge is gone missing like a shipping container

President George Weah has only have had two years in office. Still, by that little time he has had some huge scandals. Lost containers and lost funds, which was supposed to get into circulation. Newly minted and pressed currency, which just happens to disappear. So, its not like the lack of belief is there. Well, it’s because of the way he has played this game. The way he has tried to circumvent the rules and not getting a card.

President Weah haven’t delivered, when billions have gone missing, when hundreds of millions of Liberian Dollars get lost from the port in Monrovia, as the authorities are supposed to take the millions into circulation in 2018. The same can be said about the unaccounted funds and incentives in 2019. Therefore, him pledging a battle against it now. Seems a bit like lingo to catch the crowds, but not his actions on the pitch.

Outtake from the State of the Union 2020:

“My Administration will continue to intensify the fight against corruption, which remains prevalent in our society and continues to negatively impact growth and development. Many believe this to be an unchangeable way of life here in Liberia. I think otherwise. I believe that we will succeed in our fight against corruption and will bring to justice relevant individuals and corporations who have and continue to defraud Liberia. To this end, we have hired the expertise of a world-renowned Asset Recovery firm to assist our local team to carry out a professional excercise to recover Liberia’s wealth stolen over many decades. Additionally, we will continue to show political will in the fight against waste and abuse of our national resources, as we have shown in recent times when a managing director and other high profile officials were dismissed, arrested and sent to court to vindicate themselves from accusations of corruption. There will be no sacred cows as we take stronger measures to end this societal menace” (George Weah – State of the Union, 27.01.2020).

I have a hard time seeing it, as the scandals are huge, they are the status of Grand Corruption. Not the belittling of folks trespassing and feeding a hungry police officer. No, this is the shipment of currency from abroad. Surely, the same can happen in any ministry and department too. When the first of the gate, before even getting circulation, the Liberian Dollars are tainted with corrupt behaviour. That is how dire the cause is. The money cannot even move from the Central Bank to the public before touched and out of bound. That is how serious the issues are.

Weah can scream and shout like a pissed off manager. He can act a fool, but the realities is that his battling himself and his authorities. Because, currency moved to the port and within the bounds of the Port Authorities and still gone missing. Show, that there are enough stakeholders combined with the inner circle of bankers, ministry of finance and possibly the office of the President who knows about this movement. So, they know these shipments get lost.

It wasn’t an direct theft of a vault, robbing a bank, no, it was well-planned inside trade and bazaar of the cash coming in. They didn’t even need to rob the bank or violently overtake a cash-transport. They just took the first landing and started eating right there. It is a robbery, but a sophisticated one, as they all know when it comes and who signs off on the shipment. While no one get to answer for the misgivings and sudden “loss” of a fortune. Which was a asset of the state, until it get into circulation.

Weah knows this, but acts like he doesn’t, its insincere. Like were all are dumb and not catching the whiff of smoke. When there is smoke, it is fire and in this instance it’s a steal. We can act like its not, but that wouldn’t be sincere. So, in that regard, Mr. Weah. Please get your act right. We are crying foul, you deserve a card, a red one, but do the right thing and stop the thieving. Really stop it; the words are meaningless as long as money keep disappearing. Peace.

Liberia: President Weah – Presidential Directive – Subject: Adherence to the Relevant Provisions of the Code of Conduct (22.01.2020)

Ghana: Declaration by the Government of the Republic of Ghana on the Adoption of the ‘ECO’ by UEMOA (28.12.2019)

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