The prolonged war between Ukraine and Russia is creating a major food and energy crisis in Africa and other parts of the world. 

Current situation 
The war has so far had a significant impact on the prices of energy and food on the continent at a rate that is raising poverty rates, worsening income inequality and drawing back most countries’ economic growth. 

  • On the one hand, due to the absence of Russian oil, there is a rise in fuel prices. On the other hand, people providing food are incorporating higher import duties, rising prices of fertilizer and an increase in transportation to the overall prices of food being sold to the public.
  • This blow is coming just as African countries are recovering from the setback of the pandemic year.
  • The hit is worse on the continent because Africa highly depends on imported foods such as wheat, rice and corn. Its wheat importation rate currently stands at 85% of total consumption. Ukraine, one of the world’s food baskets, cannot deliver supplies to the continent as it is being invaded by Russia, one of the world’s top suppliers of fertilizer.

By the numbers 

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a recent report that food prices reached a record high of 12.6% in over two decades, just between February and March. 
  • According to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, with this fast-rising crisis, Africa’s GDP, which was 4.5% in 2021, is projected to drop to 3.8% in 2022. 

What they are saying 
The head of the IMF’s African department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, said worrisomely that the high debt profiles of African countries have reduced its ability to weather the storm it faces. He therefore called on the international community to join Africa in the fight against this crisis. 

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