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Food shortages unemployment rates and Covid 19 in Africa

Food shortages unemployment rates and Covid 19 in Africa

In Africa, 34 countries are in crisis needing assistance for food due to Covid-19 where unemployment rates were already high.

 

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and food shortages are due to disruptions to the supply of agricultural products and income losses due to closure and illness. To different degrees all 34 African countries listed have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as civil war, floods, desert locusts, planting shortages and high food prices. 

Little girl from the Samburu Tribe of Kenya.


Covid-19 made a bad situation worse for these African countries and the need of humanitarian aid. Humanitarian aid is usually short-term help until the citizens themselves, governments and NGOs or other institutions can supply the long-term needs of a country.

The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting the global food supply but the effects are more acutely felt in Africa. Below is a listing of the African country, issues causing food shortages and explanations of the issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 made a bad situation worse for these African countries:

Central African Republic.

Conflict and displaced persons food supply issues.

The number of severely food insecure people is estimated at 2.4 million during the lean season a 15 percent increase compared to the 2.1 million forecast prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Kenya.

Floods and desert locusts.

About 980 000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure in the April‑July 2020 period, mainly located in northern and eastern areas as a result of livelihood losses due to floods in late 2019 and localized damages to crops and pastures due to desert locusts. As of May, about 393 000 individuals had been affected by the floods, which were triggered by torrential rains since March.


Somalia.

Floods, civil insecurity, desert locusts, and lingering impact of consecutive unfavorable rainy seasons on pastoral livelihoods. About 2.7 million people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance for the April‑June 2020 period. The areas of major concern are the flood‑affected riverine areas, urban IDP settlements and northwestern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed regions, where the most vulnerable households are facing emergency levels of food insecurity. As of May, floods, which were triggered by torrential rains in April, affected about 919,000 people.


Zimbabwe.

Below-average cereal harvest and high food price.

The number of food insecure people was estimated at 4.3 million in the first half of 2020. The number of food insecure is expected to remain high and could increase later in 2020, reflecting the impact of a consecutive below-average cereal harvest in 2020 and persisting high food prices; food availability and access will remain poor for many households. 


Burundi.

Floods and landslides.

About 0.85 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the June‑August 2020 period, mainly due to livelihood losses caused by floods and landslides triggered by torrential rains since March 2020.


Chad.

Persisting civil insecurity.

About 1 million people are estimated to be food insecure between June and August 2020. Nearly 236,500 people remained internally displaced, almost entirely on account of the insurgency in the northeast. In addition, the country hosts about 470,000 refugees.


Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Persisting civil insecurity.

About 13.6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure, mostly residing in the areas with a high concentration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees, including the eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, where the security situation remains precarious and households face serious food access constraints.


Djibouti.

Consecutive unfavorable rainy seasons.

About 17, 000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in January 2020, mainly due to consecutive unfavorable rainy seasons. The regions most affected by food insecurity were Dikhil and Obock, where 47 percent of the population were acutely food insecure. As of May 2020, floods, which were triggered by torrential rains since March, affected about 110,000 people. 


Eritrea.

Economic constraints have increased the population’s vulnerability to food insecurity.


Ethiopia

High food prices, floods, desert locusts and impact of previous droughts.

About 8.5 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure between February and June 2020, mainly in eastern agricultural areas and in northern and southeastern agro-pastoral areas due to poor seasonal rains between early and mid 2019. As of May, about 21,000 people have been affected by floods triggered by torrential rains since March 2020.


Niger.

Civil conflict.

About 2 million people in the June ‑ August 2020 period are assessed to be in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Due to the civil conflict in neighboring countries, the country hosts 223 000 refugees, of which 162,961 are from Nigeria and 58,813 from Mali, while an estimated 265,522 people are internally displaced.


Nigeria.

Persisting conflict in northern areas.

About 7 million people are assessed to need humanitarian assistance between June and August 2020. Over 2.6 million people are estimated to be internally displaced due to persisting civil insecurity. The areas inaccessible to humanitarian interventions are facing the worst food security conditions.


South Sudan.

Severe economic downturn, civil insecurity, and lingering impact of prolonged conflict.

Despite sustained humanitarian assistance, food insecurity still affects large segments of the population, driven by insufficient food supplies, an economic downturn and soaring food prices. About 6.48 million people 55 percent of the total population are estimated to be severely food insecure in the May‑July period. The highest prevalence of food insecurity is reported in Jonglei State, the area worst affected by the floods, where more than 70 percent of the population are severely food insecure. In May 2020, the number of internally displaced people was estimated at 1.6 million. About 12,000 people have been affected by floods triggered by torrential rains in May 2020.


Burkina Faso.

Civil insecurity in the north.

About  2.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance for the June-August 2020 period, mainly due to civil insecurity in the north. An estimated 21,000 refugees, most of them from Mali, are living in the country, while about 921,500 individuals are internally displaced.


Cabo Verde.

Poor performance of the 2019 agro‑pastoral cropping season.

Approximately 2 percent of the total population are estimated to be in crisis in the June‑August 2020 period.


Cameroon.

Civil insecurity.

About 2.6 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the second quarter of 2020. About 45 percent of the food insecure population are located in the Northwest and Southwest Anglophone regions, where fighting is still ongoing between the security forces and separatist armed groups. Increased levels of insecurity in the Far North Region in March and April 2020 triggered new population displacements.


Republic of the Congo.

Influx of refugees and floods.

The country is estimated to host about 20,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and about 22,000 refugees from the Central African Republic. Between October 2019 and January 2020, heavy rainfall triggered flooding that affected approximately 170,000 people, including 30,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in northern and eastern areas. Host communities face food shortages and limited livelihood opportunities, and refugees’ food security is essentially guaranteed by continued humanitarian assistance.


Eswatini.

Localized shortfalls in production.

Early in 2020 an estimated 232,000 people were in need of humanitarian assistance.


Guinea.

Localized shortfalls of cereal production.

About 267,000 people are estimated to need food assistance during the June ‑ August 2020 period.


Lesotho.

Localized shortfalls in production.

Between October 2019 and March 2020, an estimated 433,000 people required food assistance. A foreseen upturn in cereal production in 2020 is likely to improve conditions, but localized harvest shortfalls in southern areas will adversely affect food insecurity in these areas.


Liberia.

High food prices.

About 41,000 people were estimated to be in major crisis in the June-August 2020 period. The country is hosting approximately 8,700 refugees.


Libya.

Civil insecurity, political instability and low oil prices.

The total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020 was estimated at nearly 1 million, of which 1/3 require food assistance. Refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced are among the most vulnerable. The number is likely to increase as the local currency depreciates, food prices increase and opportunities for casual labor decrease.


Madagascar.

Reduced harvests in southern areas.

Reflecting the impact of dry weather conditions in southern regions on agricultural production, food insecurity is expected to worsen in 2020.


Malawi.

Localized production shortfalls.

The national upturn in cereal production in 2020 is expected to improve the overall food security, however, in southern parts of the country, localized shortfalls in cereal production are estimated for a second consecutive year and this is expected to maintain high levels of food security in these areas.


Mali.

Civil insecurity.

The country is hosting approximately 45,000 refugees, while 251,000 internally displaced people and 84,000 returnees rely on humanitarian assistance. About 1.3 million people are estimated to need food assistance between June and August 2020 mainly as a result of the civil conflict.


Mauritania.

Poor performance of the agro‑pastoral cropping season.

About 609,000 people are assessed to need assistance between June and August 2020. About 63,000 refugees, mostly from Mali and who require assistance, reside in the country.


Mozambique.

Shortfalls in staple food production.

Cereal production in southern regions is estimated to be below average in 2020 for a second consecutive year due to rainfall deficits and this is expected to maintain a high level of food insecurity in these areas. Nationwide, nearly 2 million people were assessed to be food insecure during the January‑February 2020 period.


Namibia.

Shortfalls in agricultural production.

An estimated 430,000 people were already facing a major crisis between January and March 2020. Although an estimated increase in agricultural production will improve food availability, localized production shortfalls will stress conditions in affected areas.


Senegal.

Localized shortfalls in cereal production.

About 767,000 people are estimated to need assistance between June and August 2020. An estimated 14,500 refugees, mostly from Mauritania, are residing in the country.


Sierra Leone.

High food prices.

About 1.3 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure during the June-September 2020 period.


Sudan.

Conflict, civil insecurity, and soaring food prices.

The number of severely food insecure people was estimated at 9.6 million for the June-September 2020 period. The areas most affected by food insecurity are South Kordofan and Blue Nile State, and most of the Greater Darfur region.


Uganda.

Localized crop production shortfalls, refugee influx and floods.

About 500,000 people were estimated to be severely food insecure in eastern Teso Region and northeastern Karamoja Region in early 2019. About 881,000 refugees from South Sudan and about 415,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are hosted in camps and rely on humanitarian assistance. As of May, about 177,000 people have been affected by floods triggered by torrential rains since October 2019.


Tanzania.

Localized crop production shortfalls.

About 499,000 people are estimated to be in need of emergency assistance in the May September 2020 period, mainly in northeastern Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions and in central Dodoma and Singida regions, where 2019 harvests were affected by prolonged dry spells that resulted in significant cereal production losses. As of May 2020, about 31,000 people have been affected by floods triggered by torrential rains since March.


Zambia.

Localized production shortfalls, and high food prices.

In southern parts of the country, localized production shortfalls are estimated for a second consecutive year and this is likely to sustain the high levels of food insecurity in these areas.


Onions for sale at the bus station in Dongola Sudan.

Unemployment stats for Africa have not been complied since June 2019, however here are the current unemployment rates before the Covid-19 pandemic in the 34 African countries most effected by food shortages.


Burkina Faso

6.3%


Burundi

1.4%


Cabo Verde

12.2%


Cameroon

3.4%


Central African Republic

3.7%


Chad 

1.9%


Democratic Republic of the Congo

4.2%


Republic of the Congo.

9.5%


Eritrea

5.1%


Eswatini

22.1%


Ethiopia

2.1%


Gabon

20%


Guinea

4.3%


Kenya

2.6%


Lesotho

23.4%


Liberia 

2.8%


Libya

17.6%


Madagascar

1.8%


Malawi

5.7%


Mali 

7.2%


Mauritania

9.5% 


Mozambique;

3.2%


Namibia

20.3%


Niger 

0.5%


Nigeria

8.1%


Senegal

6.6%


Sierra Leone

4.4%


Somalia

11.4%


South Sudan 

12.2%


Sudan

16.5%


Tanzania

2%


Uganda

1.8%


Zambia

11.4%


Zimbabwe

5%


In Africa, 34 countries are in crisis needing assistance for food due to Covid-19 where unemployment rates were already high. Numerous African countries are expected to lack the resources to deal with critical problems of food shortages.


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