The rise in food prices and job losses caused by the “Covid-19” pandemic raises fears of increasing food insecurity and malnutrition in low-income communities across Africa
Especially in places where the conflict continues unabated, disrupting people’s access to markets and their ability to farm.
A recent survey conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the participation of 2,400 people in 10 African countries concluded that the prices of food and other necessities in the local markets have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, according to 94% of the study participants, while 82 % Say they have lost income or rent, and only 7% said they have sufficient savings to cope with a protracted crisis.
“The risk is that with rising food prices and falling incomes, we may see high rates of malnutrition, because families are unable to buy enough food, or because the food they can afford,” said Pablo Lozano, the ICRC’s economic security analyst for Africa. Its nutritional cost is lower »
“We learned very clearly through our study that people in the communities in which we work are suffering financially,” he added. This is especially true for those who depend on daily work to meet their livelihoods or small businesses, as well as communities that were already suffering from food insecurity due to conflict or violence.
“The level of hunger is dangerously high due to violence, lack of access to arable land, and fragile coping strategies such as selling household assets and livestock,” said Matthew Kinyangwe, the ICRC’s coordinator of economic security activities in Burkina Faso. This has been exacerbated by the succession of droughts and floods this year.
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