Due to the impact of the Russian-Ukraine war that negatively affected the African region, being the worst hit of the war. The EU has stepped in to help alleviate the plight of the people in the African region by pledging 600 million Euros to help vulnerable nations suffering from shortage of food.
The funds include €150 million in humanitarian assistance for African, Pacific and Caribbean nations and €350 million to boost sustainable food production in the long term.
The European Commission Chief Urusla Vin Der Leyen disclosed that due to Russia’s refusal to export grains, they had to step in to mitigate the food crisis and economic shock in the African region.
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It is a known fact that Russia and Ukraine are the highest exporters of grain, exporting nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley. This war has however prevented about 20 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain from getting to the middle east, North Africa and parts of Asia.
With the Russian-Ukraine war still ongoing, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has projected that up to 181 million people in 41 countries could face a food crisis or worse level of hunger this year.
The EU has described Russia’s export blockade as a “real war crime”, warning that the country will be held responsible for the food crisis in the African region, if it keeps on stopping its exports.
The Kremlin has however disputed the claim that they are responsible for the food crisis in Africa and other regions. They pointed fingers at the EU, claiming that the rise in food prices, and shortage of food in the middle east and Africa was caused due to sanctions by the bloc imposed on Russia.
Due to the adverse effect of the food crisis on the African Region, African union (AU) leader Macky Sall has disclosed to EU leaders his intentions to call the Russian President Vladimir Putin, to discuss food security.
Some analysts have described Russia’s blockade of grains as an attempt to deliberately create hunger in the world. They further disclosed that Russia’s attempt to blame Western sanctions was just propaganda.
Despite these allegations on Russia, most of these African countries have restrained themselves from making rash comments to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which saw 17 African countries abstain from voting against Russia at the UN General Assembly.
They understand that decisions made at the General Assembly are non-binding, but they have political weight which can jeopardize their country’s relationship with Russia.
The AU president Macky Sall has maintained his stance that Africa will not be quick to condemn Russia’s action, as they are committed to respecting the rules of international law.
It is quite pitiable that the African region has subjected themselves to always be at the mercy of European countries. The region has been ravaged by corrupt leaders who do nothing to improve their countries economy, rather they are all about satisfying their selfish desires.
Africa as a region has failed to transform from it’s current status of being underdeveloped to being developed. The region is always known for seeking one aid or the other. There is no disputing the fact that African leaders have great exposure to developed nations, but still, they have failed to use that advantage to develop their country.
If only these African leaders developed their Agricultural sector, they will not be seeking food aid. It’s high that they look inwardly at the damaging effects of under development in their region, because aside from the negative effects of the Russian-Ukraine war, it could get worse. They should learn to produce their own food, because they cannot survive on foreign aid all the time.