Africa Region | Hunger Crisis – Operation Update #1 – Emergency Appeal (MGR60001)

Across the region, millions of people are living in poverty and facing multiple daily threats to their food security. An estimated 146 million people are facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa. Climatic shocks, such as prolonged drought and recurrent flooding, conflict, desert locusts, and economic downturns, exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19, have combined to hit communities hard. The impact of global drivers is compounding the effect of pre-existing deep-rooted local drivers such as poverty and marginalisation.

The crisis has spread across all of Africa – from East Africa with the fourth consecutive failed rains in the Horn of Africa and extreme flooding for four successive years in South Sudan, to the Sahel region of West Africa plagued by insecurity and political instability, to Southern Africa where countries, such as Zimbabwe, are experiencing surging inflation. Unfortunately, this is not new and in 2010–2011, in spite of early warning signs that failed rains in East Africa would result in acute food insecurity and a loss of lives, the humanitarian response was too little and too late. History almost repeated itself in 2016–2017, but governments and humanitarian organisations mobilised a response sufficient enough to head off mass mortality.

Warnings of the current situation were given as early as 12 months ago when African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies started to launch hunger crisis emergency appeals. So far, 17 African National Societies have responded to the hunger crisis across the region with the limited resources they have. However, to respond to the rapidly escalating humanitarian needs and scale up, for the National Society response, funding for the crisis needs to be urgently increased. The IFRC, in turn, must quickly and massively scale-up life-saving assistance to millions of people facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity, of which hundreds of thousands are at immediate risk of or experiencing catastrophic levels of acute food insecurity, but also to decisively address the root causes of this crisis through longer-term commitments.

The report details how the African Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies plan to scale up life-saving assistance to millions of people and the response efforts since the launch of the emergency appeal. At the same time, through longer-term programming, African National Societies will address the root causes of food insecurity. IFRC will build on our previous successes and work in support of government plans and frameworks to improve the resilience of the most impoverished communities, including displaced populations.

Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies