Across Africa, a disaster goes largely unnoticed as 1 in 4 people face food security crisis
The food crisis spans across the continent, from Mauritania and Burkina Faso in the west to Somalia and Ethiopia in the east. The ICRC will ramp up operations in 10 countries in response, in close coordination with other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, to support an additional 2.8 million people.
"We are scaling up our operations in countries like Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria and Burkina Faso and many others to try and help as many people as we can, but the number of people going without food and water is staggering."
Conflict, climatic shocks like the droughts in East Africa and cumulative poor rainfalls in West Africa, a dramatic rise in displaced people, and surging food and fuel prices have contributed to the overwhelming needs in the region. Complicating matters further, many of the affected countries are still reeling from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional challenges include limited access to vulnerable populations due to insecurity, as well as the international armed conflict in Ukraine, which has contributed to rising food and fuel costs and longer delivery times due to supply route disruptions.
"We need more people on board with this crisis. The bulk of ICRC's work is helping people stay alive, but it's not nearly enough. A crisis of this scale needs a concerted effort from governments, humanitarian partners, and donors to focus on mid- and long-term support to help those affected get back on their feet. This needs to be the priority," says Stillhart.
The ICRC is carrying out assistance efforts, together with other components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, across Africa - Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania – where the food security crisis is most felt.