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Food security in sub-Saharan Africa under threat says IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said Food security iFood security in sub-Saharan Africa under threat.

In view of this, sub-Saharan Africa needs to prioritize policies targeted at reducing risks to food security as part of fiscal stimulus packages to counter the pandemic, the Fund said.

The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples.

The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food, the Fund said.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most food-insecure region, and in the June 2020 sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook, shows that climate change is increasing that insecurity.

Africans are easily pushed into food insecurity because their ability to adapt is limited by many factors, including low savings and access to finance and insurance. As a result, lives are lost, malnutrition rises, health worsens, and school enrollment drops. All this, ultimately damages the economy’s productive capacity.

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The measures to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, while critical to saving lives, risks exacerbating food insecurity. Border closures, lockdowns, and curfews intended to slow the spread of the disease are disrupting supply chains that, even under normal circumstances, struggle to stock markets, and supply farmers with seeds and other inputs.n sub-Saharan Africa is under threat.

In view of this, sub-Saharan Africa needs to prioritize policies targeted at reducing risks to food security as part of fiscal stimulus packages to counter the pandemic, the Fund said.

The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples.

 The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry in the region. In some countries, over 70 percent of the population has problems accessing food, the Fund said.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s most food-insecure region, and in the June 2020 sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook, shows that climate change is increasing that insecurity.

Africans are easily pushed into food insecurity because their ability to adapt is limited by many factors, including low savings and access to finance and insurance. As a result, lives are lost, malnutrition rises, health worsens, and school enrollment drops. All this, ultimately damages the economy’s productive capacity.

The measures to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, while critical to saving lives, risks exacerbating food insecurity. Border closures, lockdowns, and curfews intended to slow the spread of the disease are disrupting supply chains that, even under normal circumstances, struggle to stock markets, and supply farmers with seeds and other inputs.

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