Russia-Ukraine war: ECOWAS moves to mitigate food crisis

By Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, says it is putting measures in place to mitigate the impact of food crisis in the region due to the Russia Ukraine war.

The Commissioner in charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Sekou Sangare said this in a presentation at the First Ordinary Session 2022 of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, Nigeria.

Sangare stated that the direct effect of the Ukrainian crisis, has in reality, worsened food insecurity during the current lean season with more than 20% of the population of the region to be affected if nothing is done.

The war between Ukraine and Russia which started in February, 2022 has had aggravating effects on the food and nutritional situation in all countries of the region.

The war also aggravated the grain deficit in the region particularly the disruption of food supply chain, amplification of the rise in food prices and the prices of fertilizers, of which the two countries in conflict are major suppliers on the international markets and majority of ECOWAS member countries.

In the presentation titled: ECOWAS Initiatives in Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Sangare, said; “the commission is urgently mobilising internal financial resources to assist people affected by the crisis within the framework of social protection net projects.”

Mr. Sangare said; “financial institutions in the region are also playing key role in mitigating food crisis in the region.

“Taking into account the urgency of food availability on the markets, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, EBID and other financial institutions are prepared to give favourable consideration requests for the emergency importation of basic foodstuffs by member countries.

He said plans have been put in place to increase the physical capacities of the food security mechanism at the local national and regional levels.

Based on the decisions adopted 16 years ago, Mr Sangare said “ECOWAS member countries are encouraged to give fertilizers the status of strategic priority product without borders.”

Other measures are to grant boats and other means of transport facilities to avoid demurrage or any other obstacles on free movement of agriculture inputs within the ECOWAS region including Mali.

 

 

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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