West Africa. Unprecedented food and nutrition crisis
19-03-2021 | di COOPI

West Africa. Unprecedented food and nutrition crisis

In West Africa, millions of people are at risk of hunger due to insecurity in the region, inflation, depreciation of the local currency and climate shocks. This is what emerges from the latest dossier presented in March by the Regional Working Group on Food Security and Nutrition, led by WFP, Unicef, FAO, ACF and Oxfam, and involving COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale.

“This year in the Lake Chad basin, 6.24 million people will not be able to meet their hunger needs, while 1.2 million U5 children will suffer from acute malnutrition, of which 416,000 from its most severe form. In the cross-border area of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, 3.39 million people will find themselves in a crisis situation and almost 1 million U5 children will be affected by acute malnutrition. In addition to this, for two years, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been included in areas of increasing risk.”

The current situation is a direct consequence of a further deterioration in the security context. Vulnerable populations face a further challenge to their survival due to limited access to food and nutrition services, climate shocks that negatively impact production and atypical and abnormally high food prices.

The members of the food and nutrition security working group (FSNWG) call for quick action to deploy preventive responses whilst ensuring access to even the most vulnerable and remote populations. They also recall the importance of setting up structural responses to break the cycle of recurrent food and nutrition insecurity crises in West Africa. It is essential that sustainable political solutions and intersectoral action plans for crisis prevention are put in place to maintain continuity of basic services, including preventive and treatment services for acute malnutrition.