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.
The last two weeks or recent days the French President Emmanuel Macron have proven how the elites of Paris is disregarding the former colonies, if it is Mali or Algeria. I am sure behind closed doors and within trusted associates the words could be even striking. Because, these words has been said in public and with no proper excuse.
In that regard, when the Head of State of France is saying that. The previous colonies should question the need to be bound by mechanisms and by agreements tied to Paris. Since Paris clearly don’t respect you or honour you.
Françafrique consist of Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad (Tchad), Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Comoros, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia. That is lot of counties and huge part of continent. The French are involved also in republics and nations, which they were the colonial power over. However, this here piece about them. Since they have still a significant place and plays a role for the power-balance in these countries.
About the “Colonies Francaises d’Afrique”:
The countries still bound by a monetary union and a common currency, which is Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, These are all part of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The second monetary union of the CFA Franc are based on these countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. These countries are a part of the Central African Economic and Monetary Union (CAEMC).
The French and some of their allies tried to relaunch it as “Eco” in 2019 and that has gone nowhere. That should say a lot. I doubt that is only happening, because of regime changes. Nevertheless, I don’t expect any serious movement on this matter anytime soon.
We know Benin said it wanted to leave CFA Franc … that hasn’t happened either. Paris and the elites there has a way of keeping everyone under their control.
What would be healthy would be for all heads of state and parliaments, ministries and such evaluate the relations, agreements and ties with it’s former colonial master. Since, as an independent nation it is nothing saying that you should be there forever or have to be mocked on a irregular basis by Heads of State of France. Neither, should the French has trade advantage or mineral extraction agreement, which other nations companies couldn’t have. That could possibly make it more profitable and earn more tax-dollars to the state reserves in any given republic.
It is time for all of them to consider this. Everyone has some sort of ties and this is why they are still indirectly having influence. That is why everytime something happens or in regards to French interests. Things gets tense and you never know when things will pop-off. This is why the Republic’s need to oversee and have a proper oversight of it. It is like this has have never been done.
All mechanism and statutory bodies, which is connected needs also to be looked into. This here will take time and needs to be inquires. There is a need to directly investigate and also see what sort of affects it has had over the years. If there is a beneficial relations or one-sided. Since, there might be some good parts, but a lot of it is a way of the French to never let go.
After everything Macron has done. The Francophone Africa needs to react and not accept this sort of acts. Right now he does this to Algeria and Mali. Who knows when the “wrong” head of state get elected somewhere and he will use his power to stifle them. Even if that was the will of the people and not the will of Paris. That is what is striking here and that is why these republic’s needs to see over everything. We know the French will feel insulted and infuriated. Since they are entitled to it all. However, this wasn’t their to begin with. This isn’t Marseilles or Bordeaux, but it’s Yaounde and Lome. Peace.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently allocated an additional 12 million Swiss francs (about $13.2 million) to its operational budget for the Sahel region.
GENEVA, Switzerland, September 14, 2020 – Increasing violence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger has led to a 62 percent spike in deaths and more than a million people being forced to flee their homes over the last year. This rise in fighting is jeopardizing access to basic services, including health care, and affecting a fragile economy even as COVID-19 poses new threats, International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer said during a trip to the region.
Civilians are paying the highest price for the surge in violence. More than 4,660 people died in the first six months of 2020, according to data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The ICRC is extremely concerned about the level of violence and recalls that, under international humanitarian law, the civilian population must be protected and spared.
Climate change effects add a complicating layer to an already dramatic humanitarian situation. Record hot spells and unpredictable weather patterns such as the current floods tend to exacerbate inter-communal tensions and violence.
“The combination of rising violence and deaths, shuttered health care facilities, climate change effects and the COVID-19 pandemic make this a complex and multilayered crisis,” said Mr Maurer, who visited Niger and Burkina Faso over the last week. “People here are facing a battering ram of challenges leading to intense suffering for families.”
Healthcare access is essential amid conflict and during a global pandemic. But in Mali, an estimated 20 percent of health centres are partially damaged or destroyed. In Burkina Faso, 14 percent of health centres are closed or working at limited capacity.
Military confrontations and forced displacements are increasingly limiting access to agricultural fields, depriving households reliant on agriculture of food. Humanitarian access to communities affected by the fighting is becoming more difficult in some areas, exacerbating the vulnerability of those in need.
Given the challenges, the ICRC recently allocated an additional 12 million Swiss francs (about $13.2 million) to its operational budget for the Sahel region. These funds will be dedicated to seeking enhanced protection for civilians, backing the provision of essential services and supporting conflict-affected communities to restore their livelihoods.
“Government budgets are strained globally due to the health and job repercussions of COVID-19, but it’s clear that this region of the world needs assistance to alleviate the crippling consequences of both armed conflict and climate risks,” said Mr Maurer.