Kenya, Nairobi-The effects of the war in Ukraine have been echoing around the world, especially in Africa, where the blockade of grain exports from Ukraine has caused wheat prices to rise, exacerbating hunger and hunger.
yes OfficialAid groups and wheat importers across Africa welcomed Friday’s arrangement to unblock grain exports in Ukraine, where the war led to grain shortages and rising food prices across the African Continent.
Celestanta Wamba, CEO of La Pasta, the largest producer of flour and pasta in Cameroon, West Africa, said:
The UN-mediated agreement between Russia and Ukraine is of particular importance in 14 African countries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Relies on two war-torn countries for half of its wheat imports. One country, Eritrea, depends entirely on them.
Nazanin Mosiri, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the deal would have limited impact in other parts of Africa.
This is especially true for East African countries. In East Africa, the worst droughts of 40 years have destroyed farms and livestock, depleted rivers and wells, and killed hundreds of children.
Civil war in Ethiopia, political uncertainty in Sudan, conflicts and terrorism in countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Somalia have prevented governments and humanitarian agencies from getting help for many in need. did.
In Kenya, rising government debt and inflation have helped boost food prices, causing street protests and widespread anger on social media in recent weeks.
The general election is approaching on August 9, and this week President Uhuru Kenyatta pause It imposed taxes on imported corn and ordered a significant reduction in retail prices for its important staple food, corn flour.
When he visited Kenya on Friday, Samantha Power, the head of the United States Agency for International Development, said publication $ 255 million in emergency assistance to the country.
Many African countries rely primarily on grains such as corn, millet, millet and rice. However, people who consume wheat are increasingly preferred to buy wheat from Russia in recent years because it is cheaper than grains from other countries. ..
Some West African countries, such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, are particularly exposed to the turmoil in wheat exports from Russia. The government has frozen baguette or flour prices to curb the surge in wheat prices over the past two years, from about $ 250 per ton in the summer of 2020 to $ 530 this spring.
It may take some time to get rid of soaring prices. La Pasta’s Tawanba estimates that “it will take a couple of months at the earliest for cheaper wheat to reach us.”
The agreement, signed in Istanbul on Friday, is more than a month after African Union chairman Macky Sall of Senegal visited Russia and urged President Vladimir Putin to release the coveted grain. I did.
The unblocking of grain exports is welcome news, but experts said it has not dealt with soaring fertilizers and fuels, which were also pushed up by the Ukrainian war and are affecting food security.
In West Africa, where most grain planting seasons began in May and June, the region loses a quarter of its production compared to last year due to the lack of affordable fertilizers due to the war. There is a possibility. evaluation By regional political blocks, FAO and the World Food Program.
According to Mercy Corps CEO Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, fertilizer prices have been 75 in Somalia, where nearly half of the country’s 16 million people face food shortages, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. % Is rising.
“Today’s global food catastrophe far exceeds the 20 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine,” McKenna said in an email statement.
Abdi Latif Dahir Report from Nairobi, Kenya, Elian Pertier From Dakar, Senegal.