Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

Hunger in Africa is caused more by weapons than climate

Rivista Nigrizia 24.10.2022 Antonella Sinopoli Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

Not only climate change. In Africa, eight of the top ten countries suffering from severe food insecurity are experiencing conflicts. In fact, 73% of the continent's acute food insecurity is concentrated in DR Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Niger and Burkina Faso.

More than 137 million Africans are facing acute food insecurity. This means that the inability to obtain food literally puts their lives at risk. Of these 137 million, 81% live in countries where conflicts are ongoing. A crisis certainly aggravated by other high-impact situations: pandemic, climate, inflation and the Russian war in Ukraine.

The most alarming figure, reported in the Africa Center analysis, is that in the last year alone there has been a 22% increase in the number of Africans facing acute food insecurity, while the number has almost tripled since 2018. And the trend over the past decade has been consistently upwards.

Suffice it to say that in 2013, there were 'only' 15.8 million Africans who could not put a plate on the table. What might seem paradoxical is that it was in 2013 that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced an increase in funds for developing countries.

While some studies reveal that foreign aid has never achieved its objective: to reduce poverty in Africa. The situation, figures in hand, has in fact worsened. Today, more than 75% of the world's poor live in Africa. It was 10% in 1970 and some predictions suggest it could rise to 90% by 2030.

Why all this? Corruption and mismanagement of aid may be some of the causes. But if the level of poverty (and hunger or poor nutrition) is increasing, it is due to a combination of causes. Among these is often cited climate change, which causes those alternating between violent floods and extreme droughts that destroy land and crops.

But even in this case blaming the climate is reductive. It is only one part of a complex picture where various elements come together to form a drama. And among these elements, man-made and man-fuelled conflicts are the ones that are having an extreme impact on the lives of millions of Africans.

It is no coincidence that 8 of the top 10 African countries suffering from severe food insecurity are facing conflicts. It is estimated that 73% of acute food insecurity on the continent is concentrated in these countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Niger and Burkina Faso.

As insecurity increases, so do the number of people who cannot get food. A striking case in point is DR Congo with the 'world record' of high food insecurity in the world (25.9 million people). It is no coincidence that this vulnerability is concentrated in the eastern part of the country, in the Kivu and Ituri areas, the richest in mines and minerals.

Just think of coltan (of which DR Congo is the world's largest producer) and what it means in terms of exploitation of the environment and people, including children. It is estimated that more than 120 armed groups operate in this area alone, a source of constant instability and attacks on civilians.

In Ethiopia, on the other hand, there are an estimated 20 million people in need of food aid (a 137% increase since 2020). This is largely due to the civil conflict that began in November 2020 and has engulfed Tigray and other areas in northern Ethiopia. In Nigeria, 19.5 million people are reported to be experiencing severe food insecurity. An increase of almost 10 times compared to 2018. Most of these people live in the north-eastern region destabilised by Boko Haram and its offshoot, the Islamic State of West Africa.

In Sudan, there has been a doubling of the number of people in acute food insecurity in the last years - from 6 million to 11.7 million - and it just so happens that most of them are concentrated in regions affected by conflict in recent years: Darfur, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan. Not to mention the current political uncertainty and economic mismanagement that has led to 400% inflation.

Things are no better in South Sudan which, despite being one of the most fertile and land-rich countries on the continent, has 7 million hungry people. This is two thirds of the entire population, the highest rate of any country in Africa. Also critical is the situation in Somalia - some 6.7 million people - including at least 300,000 who are facing famine.

And then there is the western Sahel where security has seriously deteriorated over the years due to Islamist militant groups. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have almost 10 million people who would need external aid to eat.

These are extreme situations that in turn cause other chain consequences such as of the displaced people, for example. As of today there are at least 36 million (44% of the world total) Africans forced to leave their homes because of conflicts and violence (including government violence), three times more than last decade.

See, Fame in Africa causata più dalle armi che dal clima

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