The world is currently facing the worst food crisis in 20 years, and many countries rely on food imports, particularly from Russia and Ukraine. As a result of the war in Ukraine, global supplies of staple foods have declined and trade and transportation costs have increased, contributing to a dramatic increase in food prices.
Of the various regions affected by these developments, Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly hard hit, with households spending up to 50 % of their income on food. However, the war is only one factor destabilising Africa‘s food supply. Many regions are still struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which aggravated social inequality and poverty. In addition, climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events leading to crop failures and the degradation and destruction of natural resources. These multiple crises encounter a highly vulnerable and fragmented global food system, which theoretically produces enough food for everybody. However, access to food is unequally distributed across the globe. In many African countries, conflict settings make it even more difficult to provide enough food for the population. On the other hand, a deteriorating food supply and the further destruction of natural resources may also contribute to fuelling new conflicts in the region.
On the occasion of World Food Day on October 16, 2022, UN Secretary-General Guterres called on governments, scientists, the private sector and civil society to work together to make nutritious food available and affordable for all.
This call is not new in principle, but it is of utmost urgency given the current situation: how can this goal be better achieved? What success do the various solutions promise against the background of the current crises? What contribution can national governments, international and regional organisations, research and civil society provide? Which supporting role can and should other international organisations (UN, G7) as well as European governments play?
Participation is possible upon invitation. If you would like to participate, please contact us at sef(at)sef-bonn.org.
On the eve of the Potsdam Spring Dialogues, the Brandenburg Dialogue "Learning with Africa" will take place on the topic of "Innovative regional solutions for food security in times of global crises". More information can be found here.
Sowing the seeds of global food security with lessons from across Africa
Daniel D. Odongo, published 05/06/2023
Building resilience: African food security and the risk of global trade fragmentation
Kouassi Yeboua and Jakkie Cilliers published 12/05/2023