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FAO warns of major food crisis in East Africa – Rwanda

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The East African region faces an unprecedented triple threat to food security, caused by the combined effects of recent severe flooding, the Covid-19 pandemic and the upsurge in locusts, he Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) warned in a statement released Thursday, 30 July 2020.

According to the FAO, even before these current challenges, East Africa was considered to be one of the most food insecure regions of the world, with nearly twenty-eight million people experiencing food insecurity crises. In 2019, 20% of the world’s population was suffering from severe food insecurity. The organisation also pointed out that around nine million children under five suffer from acute malnutrition, of which two million face severe acute malnutrition.

FAO, in a joint statement with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) last Tuesday, stressed that “urgent action is needed to prevent a major food crisis in Africa from Is “.

There is an increased risk of below-average rains during the next season from October to December, which could further threaten food security and livelihoods across the region, adds the UN organization.

The IGAD region is also a major source and host of internally displaced people, refugees and asylum seekers who, due to their limited livelihoods and degraded coping mechanisms, are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition, according to the United Nations’ agency.

Between March and May 2020, heavy rains across the region resulted in widespread flooding and landslides in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia. According to IGAD, some two-point-four million people have been affected, of which seven-hundred thousand have been displaced and more than five hundred have been killed.

This is in addition to previous floods between October and December 2019, which affected three-point-four million people in the region, according to the FAO.

Forecasts of above-average precipitation between June and September 2020, especially in western Ethiopia, eastern South Sudan, Sudan, western Kenya, northern and central Uganda , increase the risk of additional flooding in the coming months.

Favorable weather and vegetation conditions across the East African region between late 2019 and mid-2020 contributed to the worst locust upsurge in the desert in more than twenty-five years, affecting all IGAD countries with varying levels of destruction of crops and pastures, explains FAO.


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