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Direitos Humanos / 17/03/2021

100 million Africans suffered severe hunger in 2020 and the situation is expected to worsen

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100 million Africans suffered severe hunger in 2020 and the situation is expected to worsen


In 2020, food insecurity on the continent skyrocketed 60% due to the pandemic, mismanagement and war

In 2020, 100 million people experienced severe food crises - that is, hunger - across the African continent. The jump last year, compared to 2019, was 60%. And the situation is expected to get worse in 2021, says the think tank Africa Center for Strategic Studies, in Washington (USA).

Mali leads the way, with an increase of 1,033% in the last two years. Of 600,000 people in 2019, today 6.8 million Malians do not have enough to eat. Next comes neighbor Chad, with 883% increase and today 5.9 million hungry.

The main reason leading to hunger is war, in addition to natural disasters and poor economic management, the study points out. For these reasons, at the end of 2020 there were at least four regions on the continent the risk of a serious food crisis is accentuated.

Hunger for war

In West Africa, the crisis occurs mainly on the triple border between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The region was taken over by Islamic extremists and saw a 44% increase in attacks, in addition to the flight of 1.7 million people.

100 million Africans suffered severe hunger in 2020 and the situation is expected to worsen

Also on this map of hunger are two of the continent's largest economies: Nigeria and Cameroon, which have foci of serious conflict in their territories.

In the Nigerian case, the extremist insurgency that has been gaining ground in the north of the country has already left four million in a situation of severe food insecurity.

In Cameroon, the violence is sectarian in origin. Most of the 4.9 million who are currently hungry in the country live in the English-speaking part of the country and demand independence the central, French-speaking government.

It is also in West Africa that, it is estimated, the escalation of hunger will be greatest in 2021. Until August, 23.6 million - or 8.6% of the regional population - may be affected, according to the FAO (United Nations Organization) for Food and Agriculture).

Climate changes

In the eastern portion, the epicenter is the Horn of Africa, between Somalia and Ethiopia. In Ethiopian territory, the information has been mismatched since the beginning of the conflict between leaders of the tigers and the federal government, in November 2020. Journalists and observers were prevented accessing the region.

100 million Africans suffered severe hunger in 2020 and the situation is expected to worsen

In Somalia, locust storms with hundreds of millions of insects - the worst in decades - threaten to trigger a famine. The invasion also affects nearby countries, such as Kenya, Djibouti and Eritrea.

In the central portion of Africa, the epicenters of hunger are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. In all cases, domestic inter-ethnic conflicts are the main catalysts for the crisis.

In the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the war generated the largest contingent of displaced people in Africa, at five million, now has thousands of people trapped at the border, trying to migrate to neighboring Uganda.

100 million Africans suffered severe hunger in 2020 and the situation is expected to worsen

Further south, Mozambique also recorded a strong increase in the population without access to basic food. In addition to the advances of the extremist insurgency in Cabo Delgado, in the north of the country, it is one of the African countries with the greatest exposure to climatic problems such as droughts and cyclones, according to data the United Nations (United Nations).

Economic chaos

Zimbabwe, in addition to Sudan and South Sudan, is experiencing a hunger scenario also generated by macroeconomic mismanagement. The three countries have currencies among the most devalued in the world and very high inflation.

Zimbabweans, who have already lived with eight-digit annual rates, closed 2020 with an inflation of “only” 622%.

Mobility restrictions after the start of the pandemic, in a country the formal workforce is almost nonexistent, caused hunger to jump 3.6 million to six million - up 72%.

Sudanese and South Sudanese, in turn, rebuild their countries after the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir (1989-2019), interethnic conflicts and the division of a country in two, enshrined in the creation of South Sudan in 2011.

In Sudan, the increase in the number of people without access to sufficient food was 63%, 5.9 million to 9.6 million. Among South Sudanese, 6.5 million are living under food insecurity - or 55% of the country's population.

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