Global News Desk
The World Food Program (WFP) anticipates a 4% increase in the number of hungry people in West and Central Africa, projecting a total of 49.5 million in 2024.
The organization highlighted financial constraints hindering its humanitarian efforts and emphasized the elevated levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in the region.
In a statement, the U.N. organization revealed a projected 16% rise in hunger among women and children between July and August 2024.
The statement emphasized the worsening food insecurity, attributing the surge to conflict, the impacts of climate change, and soaring food prices.
- “Food insecurity continues to worsen in West and Central Africa with the number of hungry people set to reach a staggering 49.5 million people between June and August 2024 – a four per cent increase compared to 2023, according to a regional food security analysis released today.”
Causes of rising hunger in Africa
The statement linked the rise in hunger to conflict, climate change, and high food prices. It pointed out that staple food costs in the region, including rice, millet, corn, and cassava, have reached a five-year high.
Despite the United States having a larger GDP than Africa, the cost of healthy meals is comparable in both places. Additionally, the statement highlighted that the cost of a daily meal is 110% higher than the minimum wage in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
Lack of funding for the WFP’s program
Margot Vandervelden, WFP’s Acting Regional Director for Western Africa, expressed concern about the lack of funding required to address the escalating hunger and malnutrition crisis.
- “Acute hunger remains at record levels in the region, yet funding needed to respond is not keeping pace; this is forcing WFP to scale back lifesaving assistance for those most affected in their hour of greatest need.”
The statement warned that insufficient funding would compel moderately hungry individuals to skip meals and consume less nutritious food, perpetuating the cycle of hunger and malnutrition.
Additionally, the statement highlighted alarming levels of child wasting in North-west Nigeria, Mali, and other regions, reaching record highs.
More than two-thirds of households in the region cannot afford a healthy diet.