The world is facing a devastating food crisis. Mali, South Sudan, Zambia, and Lebanon are experiencing conflict, climate shocks, and the covid-19 pandemic has resulted in huge insecurities in these countries.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has led to a huge increase in the price of food, and primary resources, which exacerbates the food shortage. Plan International alerts on the situation of children and women in Africa, which is very alarming in the face of the famine.
According to the United Nations, nearly 1 billion people have suffered from food insecurity in this year.
1- Sahelian countries are the most affected
“The Sahelian countries are highly dependent on food production from imports, and given the current situation between Russia and Ukraine, supplies are disrupted,” said Sven Coppens, Plan International’s director for West Africa.
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the main importing countries in Africa, are suffering greatly from this crisis. Still Burkina, develops itself in such way that it benefits from west African countries products and its own agricultural results.
The number of food-insecure people is up from 2021, with 22 million people added to the baseline figure.
In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, the situation is also critical, and the need for food and water is pressing. Crops and livestock are barely surviving with the population next to them.
Food prices are rising and rivers are drying up, causing young women and children to seek other rivers, increasing the risk of sexual violence.
In most of these countries, women must take their children out of school to work and earn money, which results in the majority of girls being married before the age of 18.
2- SOUTH SUDAN
– Nearly 52% of girls are already married before the age of 18
– 1.4 million children suffer from acute malnutrition
– 2.4 million people are at risk of malnutrition
The situation in South Sudan is really critical and this place is one of the hungriest countries in the world. Years of war, migration and drought have made life unbearable for the inhabitants of this country which is constantly under stress.
– 22% of households are food insecure
– The majority of war refugees are in Sudan and constitute more than 25% of the country’s population
Nearly 80% of the population lives below the poverty line and young girls and women must support their families financially.
Young girls find themselves cut off from the world without being able to finish their studies and abandon their dream of having a decent life. In the famine areas of Lebanon, some Plan International programs allow girls and their families to receive food and money to help them cope.
48% of the population is unable to meet its calorie needs
More than one-third of children under five years of age are stunted.
“I found it hard to survive without food,” says Samira, who had to skip school to work and support her family. They are at risk of sexual exploitation, abuse, violence and harassment, all in order to find daily bread. The situation is critical.
In Mali, the situation is even more critical with the wars and rebels settling in the edges of the country, it is even more difficult to find food without risks. Nearly 3.6 million people face food insecurity and 30.4% of children under the age of 5 are stunted.
Most of Mali’s food supply comes from imports. Essentially a livestock country, agriculture has no place as a primary source of food. However, food programs are in place, in the hope of helping families develop food crops that are appropriate for the environment.