The African Development Bank said on Friday that it has authorized a $1.5 billion emergency food production facility for 20 million African farmers in order to alleviate a future food catastrophe caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The money will go toward helping Africa deal with a food deficit of at least 30 million metric tons caused by the interruption of global food supply caused by the European crisis, particularly wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from Russia and Ukraine.
According to the bank, the facility was created to promote local cereal and oil grain production as the most effective and efficient method to build resilience throughout Africa’s food systems.
“African farmers desperately require high-quality seeds and inputs before the planting season begins in May,” the bank noted.
According to UN agencies, food rations for refugees and displaced persons in the Sahel are being reduced by up to half due to a significant budget shortage, putting millions at risk of going hungry as prices rise and harvests are disrupted by climatic shocks.
According to the UN’s humanitarian office, 18 million people in Africa’s arid zone beneath the Sahara might face severe food insecurity in the coming three months. According to Jens Laerke of the OCHA, the region’s $3.8 billion proposal is only approximately 12% funded.
“The situation in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger has reached alarming proportions, with people facing emergency levels of food insecurity during the lean season between June and August,” he said at a news conference, adding that food insecurity was at its highest level since 2014.
According to the World Food Programme, rations are now at 75% in hard-to-reach and food-insecure areas of Burkina Faso, and 50% in other areas.