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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

282m people face extreme hunger in sub-Saharan Africa – FAO

Over 282 million people in sub-Saharan Africa face extreme hunger, a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) official said.

World Teak Conference
Delegates at the opening session of the fourth World Teak Conference in Accra

“As we speak, 282 million people on the continent, over one-fifth of the population, are facing hunger, an increase of 46 million people,’’ FAO forestry management officer, Kenichi Shono, said.

Shono said at the opening session of the fourth World Teak Conference in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, that the recent spike is due to a combination of factors.

Such factors include COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the climate crisis.

Coupled with the hunger situation, Shono said, severe drought is also tightening its grip on the continent.

“Many countries also face the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, especially due to the commodity price increases, the increase in fuel prices and difficulty in accessing agriculture inputs such as fertilisers,’’ he said.

Shono called for more investment in forestry and teak plantations to help tackle the challenges in Africa and globally.

The four-day World Teak Conference, hosted by Ghana, was rescheduled from 2020 to this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference, held in Africa the first time, focuses on topics such as science-based management of tea plantations, genetic improvement and forest landscape restoration.

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