Africa faces unprecedented crisis by Russia- Ukraine war: UN

2022-05-31 18:45:30

The United Nations says Africa faces an unprecedented crisis by the military conflict in Ukraine that has led to soaring food and fuel prices.

Unilateral Western sanctions on Russia are also disrupting supplies of wheat, fertilizer and other goods, compounding the difficulties Africa already faces from climate change and the corona virus pandemic.

The severe impact arising from the crisis in Ukraine is expected to have major implications for the livelihoods and businesses in Africa.

African countries imported 44% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, according to U.N. figures.

The African Development Bank is already reporting a 45% increase in wheat prices on the continent, making everything from couscous in Mauritania to the fried donuts sold in Congo more expensive for customers.

“Africa has no control over production or logistics chains and is totally at the mercy of the situation,” said Senegalese President Macky Sall, the African Union chairperson, who has said he will travel to Russia and Ukraine to discuss the price woes.

Along with the shortfall in wheat imports, the African Development Bank is also warning of a potential 20% decline in food production on the continent because farmers are having to pay 300 percent more for their imported fertilizer.

The organization says it plans to address the issues through a $1.5 billion plan that will provide farmers in Africa with certified seeds, fertilizer and other help. Reducing dependence on foreign imports is part of the strategy, but those economic transitions are likely to take years, not months.

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