Bread has become too expensive for many African families due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has disclosed.
Adesina linked the inability of many Africans to afford bread to the role of both Eastern countries in the food supply of the continent. Note that 40% of Ukraine’s wheat and corn is shipped to Africa.
Ukraine and Russia provide more than half of the wheat, fertilizers and oil consumed by 15 African counties according to the United Nations. And with Russia busy with the war, it will be unable to export about 30-million metric ton of wheat and corn to Africa.
These gaps have triggered price increase in Africa, as demand outweighs supply, hence, Adesina telling the United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, on Wednesday, that bread has become unaffordable in some part of the continent.
He explained that Africans have been hit the most by the Russian-Ukraine conflict when compared to other developing countries, disrupting trade and causing inflation in food price.
It was gathered that the magnitude of the war’s impact is likely to surpass the effect of COVID-19 on in Africa, “The cost of bread is now beyond the reach of many Africans.” Adesina told the committee.
Adesina said there’s a shortage of two million metric tonnes of fertiliser in 2022 according to AfDB’s accessment, and it would cost an estimated $2 billion to close the gap based on current market prices.
“If we do not mitigate this shortage rapidly, food production will decline by at least 20 per cent. This horrific ‘perfect storm’ will see Africa lose more than 11 billion dollars in the value of food production, according to our analysis.” Adesina warned
The AfDB chief further stated that if the situation lingers and the price of food is not curbed, there might be social and political unrest, “Without urgent and immediate global action, we may witness social and political unrest, as we have seen only too often in the past.”
According to him, AfDB has drafted $1.5 billion to cover its emergency food production plan for production of 38 million metric tonnes of food across Africa.
“The $1.5 billion plan intends to source $1.3 billion of our resources. With U.S. support to reduce the $200 million financing gap – we can ensure the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan’s success.” Adesina explained.
He added, “The strong support of the US for our Africa Emergency Food Production Plan will allow Africa to avert a looming food crisis and use the opportunity to drive structural changes in agriculture, to unleash the full potential of Africa to become a breadbasket to the world.”
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