Russia-Ukraine War: AfDB earmarks $1.5 bn for Africa Emergency Food Plan
The crisis rocking Ukraine may have started taking a toll on Nigeria and Africa in general, a development that may have prompted the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) to earmark a $1.5 billion emergency food plan for Africa.
The food plan is, however, awaiting the ratification of the AfDB board.
President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, who met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the war has pushed up the price by about 60%.
He said maize and other grains will not be spared from the crisis, noting that there may be a fertilizer crisis, as there would be about two million metric tons deficit.
“To prepare against the evil day, the AfDB has developed a $1.5 billion Africa Emergency Food Plan, which is now before the bank’s Board for approval,” Adesina said.
“It will affect food production by about 20%. Africa will lose $11 billion worth of food, and coming shortly after COVID-19, that would be rather serious.”
Buhari said the management of AfDB deserved accolades for planning ahead of the negative consequences that may come from the Russia-Ukraine war in terms of food security.
“Thank you for knowing our weaknesses and our strengths, and for planning and working ahead,” President Buhari said.
“We are very much aware of the need for food security, and to encourage our local farmers, that was why we closed our borders for about two years to curb smuggling. We made some progress.”
Adesina said the Russia-Ukraine war would create global problems, and particularly for Africa, which imports a huge percentage of its food from the two countries.
“We were not ready for COVID-19, but we are now planning to avert food crisis on the continent. There is plan to help farmers cultivate wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and soybeans. It will mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.”