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United Nations: War in Ukraine worsening hunger crisis in Africa

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The World Food Program (WFP) is sounding the alarm on a growing food crisis. The U.N. agency said if it doesn’t receive more emergency funding, up to 20 million people could go hungry.

The WFP is hoping to raise $473 million over the next six months to support 7.5 million people. Without the funding and resources, famine and catastrophic levels of malnutrition will continue to worsen in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

“After three failed rainy seasons, it’s estimated that the region is the driest that it’s been in 40 years. We’re now waiting for the current rainy season to arrive, it’s late, and we’re very concerned of what the implications will be if it is below average,” said Michael Dunford, the WFP Regional Director East Africa.

Drought isn’t the only problem. The war in Ukraine is also worsening the problem because African nations rely on wheat from Black Sea basin countries. 

“The war has made an already dire situation worse. Price and supply shocks are already materializing, adding to global inflationary pressures, creating risks to external balances, and undermining the recovery from the pandemic,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during a meeting with finance ministers on food insecurity.

The U.N. said the war has disrupted imports, raised food and fuel prices, and the doubled the cost of shipping in some routes since January. The cost of a food basket is up 66% in Ethiopia and 36% in Somalia.

“Even as we continue escalating our sanctions and other economic measures against Russia, we reiterate our commitment to authorizing essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit people around the world,” Secretary Yellen said.

The last time the WFP made an appeal for emergency funding, it raised less than four percent of what it needed. Officials said they raised the alarm three months ago when 14 million people were impacted. Those officials said 20 million people are in trouble today.

“The U.N. World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies have been warning the international community since last year that this drought could be disastrous if we didn’t act immediately, but funding has failed to materialize at the scale required,” Dunford said.

World leaders are sounding the alarm on a growing food crisis. UN officials say if they don’t receive more emergency funding, up to 20 million people could go hungry. The World Food Program says this will lead to famine and catastrophic levels of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa. 

Michael Dunford, WFP Regional Director East Africa says: After three failed rainy seasons, it’s estimated that the region is the driest that it’s been in 40 years. We’re now waiting for the current rainy season to arrive, it’s late, and we’re very concerned of what the implications will be if it is below average.” 

Drought  isn’t the only problem. The war in Ukraine is also making the situation worse because African nations rely on wheat from Black Sea basin countries. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is blaming Russia. 

Janet Yellen, U.S. Treasury Secretary says: The war has made an already dire situation worse.  Price and supply shocks are already materializing, adding to global inflationary pressures, creating risks to external balances, and undermining the recovery from the pandemic.”

The UN is hoping to raise 473 million dollars over the next six months to support 7.5 million people. The last time they made an appeal for emergency funding, they say they raised less than four percent of what they needed. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan. 

The World Food Program (WFP) is sounding the alarm on a growing food crisis. The U.N. agency said if it doesn’t receive more emergency funding, up to 20 million people could go hungry.

The WFP is hoping to raise $473 million over the next six months to support 7.5 million people. Without the funding and resources, famine and catastrophic levels of malnutrition will continue to worsen in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

“After three failed rainy seasons, it’s estimated that the region is the driest that it’s been in 40 years. We’re now waiting for the current rainy season to arrive, it’s late, and we’re very concerned of what the implications will be if it is below average,” said Michael Dunford, the WFP Regional Director East Africa.

Drought isn’t the only problem. The war in Ukraine is also worsening the problem because African nations rely on wheat from Black Sea basin countries. 

“The war has made an already dire situation worse. Price and supply shocks are already materializing, adding to global inflationary pressures, creating risks to external balances, and undermining the recovery from the pandemic,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during a meeting with finance ministers on food insecurity.

The U.N. said the war has disrupted imports, raised food and fuel prices, and the doubled the cost of shipping in some routes since January. The cost of a food basket is up 66% in Ethiopia and 36% in Somalia.

“Even as we continue escalating our sanctions and other economic measures against Russia, we reiterate our commitment to authorizing essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit people around the world,” Secretary Yellen said.

The last time the WFP made an appeal for emergency funding, it raised less than four percent of what it needed. Officials said they raised the alarm three months ago when 14 million people were impacted. Those officials said 20 million people are in trouble today.

“The U.N. World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies have been warning the international community since last year that this drought could be disastrous if we didn’t act immediately, but funding has failed to materialize at the scale required,” Dunford said.

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