As the war in Ukraine takes it tolls on countries of Africa, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has taken a proactive move to mitigate the effect by setting aside $1.5 billion for an emergency food plan for Africa.
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%.
According to him, 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.
The food plan, he stated, is, however, awaiting the ratification of the AfDB board.
“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,” he 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.”
The AfDB boss 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.”
Responding to this development, President Buhari said, the management of AfDB should applauded 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.