Senegal’s President and African Union chairperson, Macky Sall, recently disclosed that when he visits Russia and Ukraine in the coming weeks, he will push them to unblock exports of grains and fertilizer to the African region, to avoid widespread famine.
Recall that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused so many crises as it worsened the food security in many African countries. Most of these African countries rely on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of their wheat, fertilizers, vegetable oil, and grains.
The war however disrupted global commodity markets and trade flows to the African region, which led to the surge in the prices of food, as well as severe hunger. Even before the Russian-Ukraine war, so many countries in Africa were already faced with food crises and a surge in food prices, due to extreme climate conditions, floods, and food droughts, which disrupted planting, production, and global supply chains.
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine however worsened the food crisis in the African region. Currently, the African region is suffering from disruptions in the food supply, and if drastic measures are not taken, millions of people across the African continent may die of hunger.
With Russia and Ukraine being one of the highest exporters of Wheat, Grains, and fertilizers, nearly half of Africa’s 54 countries rely on them for these products.
Reacting to the plight of the people in the African region, following the impacts of the Russian-Ukraine war, the African Union chairperson Macky Sall had this to say; “We have pleaded for a ceasefire, for an end to the war and the release of all food products, so that the world doesn’t know famine after two years of covid and almost three months of the war.
“There are multiple initiatives to call on countries that have (grain) stocks to liberate them and to ensure that Russia can authorize the export of cereals from Ukraine and can also export itself if food supply blockages were to continue and there was a famine, the world not be able to contain the consequences because it would be massive on immigration. It would also be most dramatic for African countries”
Macky Sall further disclosed that in a bid to alleviate the plight of the people in the African region, he would visit Moscow and Kyiv in his capacity as the chairman of the African Union to broker peace between the two sides. It might interest you to know that the UN world food program (WFP) buys half of the wheat it distributes around the world from Ukraine.
Following the war, supplies have become limited which has seen some African countries witness severe hunger. The WFP had earlier warned that if the war lasts beyond April, which already has, acute hunger will increase by 17 percent globally, with African countries being the worst hit.
It is quite sad that the African region has become a collateral victim of the Russian-Ukraine war. This is indeed a wake-up call for African nations to begin to produce their food, to ensure food security, and stop being dependent on other nations for food supplies.
With the uncertainty of life, they never can tell what might become of them when something goes wrong, just like the Russian-Ukraine war for instance which has seen them badly affected. The African Union on the other hand should implement initiatives to help alleviate the suffering of the people in the region to prevent hunger-induced mortality