At Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, ECOWAS Commission attributes factors such as insecurity, persistent inflation, and climate change, among others as being responsible for food and nutritional crises
The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, has called on leaders in the sub-region to put in place appropriate measures to forestall food shortage.
Dr Touray disclosed this while making a presentation on the Implementation Status of the Community Programme at the ongoing 2023 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
According to him, as of March this year, 29.5 million people are in dire need of emergency food and nutritional assistance in the ECOWAS region, just as he noted that about 42.5 million people are in need of nutritional assistance from the month of June to August 2023. He attributed the factors responsible for the food and nutritional crises to include insecurity, persistent inflation, and climate change, among others.
“The ECOWAS region is facing the persistence of factors that aggravate food and nutrition crises. These include (a) civil insecurity, which has resulted in more than 7.5 million internally displaced persons being deprived of their means of existence (housing, productive capital, social network) and access to education and health.
It is now extended to the north of Togo and Benin; (b) persistent inflation, which limits households’ ability to access sufficient nutritious food; (c) the worsening of the harmful effects of climate change, which is making food systems more fragile,” he said.
Furthermore, the Commission’s President revealed that 107.5 million people in the region were currently faced with food insecurity.
”Millions of people are estimated to be food insecure and could therefore fall into crisis in the event of shocks, notably in Nigeria (64 million), Niger (7.3 million) and Burkina Faso (5.1 million). The nutrition crisis also persists in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad, where nearly 16.5 million children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, ” he added.
Dr Touray explained that though the regional body and its partners have responded to food and nutrition insecurity, the increasing trend of needs continues with the scarcity of resources to finance the response plans. He, therefore, enjoined all stakeholders on the need to implement an intervention approach based on the Humanitarian-Peace- Development nexus in the countries affected.