Food shortage is predicted by the World Food Programme (WFP) to be one of the major crisis that the West African sub-region will face in 2020.
Twelve countries (12) out of the total sixteen countries (16) in West Africa have been predicted by the World Food Programme under the United Nations to face acute food insecurity in 2020. This means that 75 percent of the entire countries in West Africa will be at risk of acute famine as the year unfolds.
According to the 2020 Global Report on Food Crises published by the Global Network Against Food Crises, an agency under the World Food Programme, the major driver for this predicted hunger is the ever-increasing conflict which has resulted in displacement in these violent areas as well as extreme climate and weather conditions.
“Increasing violence and displacement in conflict-affected areas as well as weather extremes and disrupted regional trade will drive up acute food insecurity in many countries of West Africa,” portions of the report sighted by ABC News read.
The WFP indicates that the coronavirus global pandemic will worsen the famine situation as these West African countries strive to defeat the virus which will take a heavy toll on food production.
“The upheaval that has been set in motion by the COVID-19 pandemic may push even more families and communities into deeper distress. At this time of immense global challenges, from conflicts to climate shocks to economic instability, we must redouble our efforts to defeat hunger and malnutrition. This is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and building a more stable and resilient world,” António Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations indicated in the report.
Ghana, as well as Togo, Benin, Cape Verde, and Southern part of Nigeria, were not included in the list indicating a level of food security within these few countries.
The food security of Ghana has been corroborated by the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto. According to the Minister, Ghana’s current problem is not food insecurity, but rather how to store the surplus food being produced by farmers.
“I did say after the lockdown that there is no need for it because we have plenty of food. The success of planting for food and jobs have been so instant that the problem that we are facing in this country since 2018 has been how do we manage the surplus because, on-farm the Ghanaian farmer has proven beyond doubt that with the right support from the government, they will deliver and they are delivering. They are providing surpluses which are increasing every year. That has been the situation in the last three years,” the minister has said.
Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Northern Nigeria are the countries in West Africa predicted to face severe food shortages in 2020 due intermittent conflicts.
The WFP says the coronavirus global pandemic will worsen the already bad food situation in these countries.