The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said more than 123 million people from sub-Sahara African countries, including Nigeria are currently under the risk of experiencing acute food shortage and malnutrition.
In a new paper that was released yesterday, the fund said climate change is intensifying food insecurity across sub-Saharan Africa with lasting adverse macroeconomic effects, especially on economic growth and poverty.
Successive shocks from the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 pandemic have increased food prices and depressed incomes across Africa whose many countries are import dependent.
The IMF said the both crisis are “raising the number of people suffering from high malnutrition and unable to meet basic food consumption needs by at least 30 percent to 123 million in 2022 or 12 percent of SSA’s population.”
According to IMF, addressing the lack of resilience to climate change—that critically underlies food insecurity in Africa—will require careful policy prioritisation against a backdrop of financing and capacity constraints.
The paper presents some key considerations and examples of tradeoffs and complementarities across policies to address food insecurity.
The key findings include fiscal policies focused on social assistance and efficient public infrastructure investment can improve poorer households’ access to affordable food, facilitate expansion of climate-resilient and green agricultural production, and support quicker recovery from adverse climate events.
Also, the IMF said African countries need to improve access to finance to step up private investment in agricultural resilience and productivity as well as improving the earning capacity and food purchasing power of poorer rural and urban households.
Apart from that, the IMF suggested greater regional trade integration, complemented with resilient transport infrastructure to enable sales of one country’s bumper harvests to its neighbors’ facing shortages.
“The international community can help with financial assistance—especially for the above-mentioned social assistance and key infrastructure areas—capacity development, and facilitating transfers of technology and know-how,” IMF said in the paper that was authored by .
IMF believes the international community can help with financial assistance, capacity development, and facilitating transfers of technology and know-how.
Climate funds could play a critical role through grants and concessional financing; and development partners can support research in a host of