Skyrocketing food insecurity across Africa is being driven by the impacts of climate change, increasingly burdensome debt loads, and armed conflict (both locally and in Ukraine following the Russian invasion in February). Prolonged droughts in some areas, and severe flooding in others, have destroyed crops and plunged millions into acute food insecurity.
Hundreds of thousands have already died in East Africa where 82 million are acutely food insecure (up 60% from last year) as are 42 million in West Africa (up about one-third from last year). An estimated 260,000 children under the age of five died from extreme hunger or related diseases in East Africa last year, and an Oxfam report in May estimated a person was dying of hunger in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia every 48 seconds. The crisis is exacerbated by many countries’ increasingly rising debt servicing obligations; a vicious cycle that itself is a major barrier to improving quality of life, and addressing the climate crisis, in those countries. (Reuters, Bloomberg $)