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Over 30 million people in Africa face crisis levels of hunger

In Ituri, DRC, Malteser International medical staff are increasingly having to care for malnourished children. Photo Archive: Nyokabi Kahura/Malteser International

With support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Malteser International is already providing seeds to vulnerable populations to combat food insecurity. Photo: Malteser International

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening existing food insecurity in several African countries. According to a report by the UN World Food Programme, some 22 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are facing crisis levels of food insecurity. In South Sudan, over half of the population, about 6.5 million people, are now facing acute hunger while 4.3 million people in Nigeria are affected.

“Millions of people have been hit hard by the economic impacts of the pandemic,” said Roland Hansen, Regional Head for Africa at Malteser International. “Food prices are rising; day laborers have lost their jobs due to curfews. Even before the pandemic, these countries were already experiencing food insecurity, mainly caused by long-running conflicts. Recently, however, climate shocks including flooding and drought have worsened the situation. Affected people in the DRC, Nigeria and South Sudan can by no means cope with these multiple crises alone; they urgently need support.”

Malteser International is already stepping up its activities in these countries with support from the German government. "Given the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, greater efforts will be needed to avert a disaster in Africa,” said Hansen.

Malteser International has been working in the DRC and in the region that is now South Sudan since 1996, improving access to good nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation and hygiene. In Nigeria, Malteser International staff has been providing displaced populations with clean water and hygiene training since 2017.

Help provide lifesaving support for families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Reference: "Food crisis in Africa"


Katharina Kiecol
Email: katharina.kiecol(at)malteser-international.org

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