Multilateral body, World Bank has warned that the recent coup d’état in the Niger Republic may complicate issues around Nigeria and other West African nations’ food markets.
The bank stated this in its September “Food Security Update.” It said, “The coup d’état in Niger might put additional pressure on West African food markets.”
The bank claimed that the coup had increased the likelihood that seven million more people in the region could experience severe food insecurity. This is despite the fact that 3.3 million people already experience this during the lean season due to rising commodity and staple food prices.
President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted in July in a coup led by the head of the presidential guard, General Omar Tchiani. The coup was the fifth in the West African subregion within three years.
It said, “With the government’s limited financial capacity to implement its food assistance programme, continued provision of food aid by the World Food Programme remains essential, but access restrictions hinder aid delivery.
“Moreover, FAO expects that shortages of seeds and feed and high fertilizer costs will affect the next agriculture season, exacerbating food insecurity, which is expected to persist beyond the lean season.”
It added, “The main factors affecting food security are civil insecurity and conflict, which have led to forced displacement; climatic shocks; political instability; the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the war in Ukraine, which have increased the volatility of prices for foodstuffs and other commodities and caused widespread inflation. Current food prices of the main staple and imported food products remain higher than during the same period last year.”
According to a World Food Programme report, unless appropriate action is immediately taken, the number of women, men, and children affected by a food and nutrition crisis in West and Central Africa is expected to reach a new record high in June 2022 – quadrupling in just three years from 10.7 million in 2019 to 41 million in 2022.
The number of individuals in Western and Central Africa requiring food and nutritional assistance has increased from over 10.7 million in 2019 to almost 29 million in 2021 to more than 40 million in 2022 and 2023, according to the bank, which underlined the region’s ongoing food crisis.