Ukraine War Worsening Hunger in Nigeria, Other Nations – UN

The impact of the Ukraine war on Africa has been highlighted by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who claims that the crisis is exacerbating a “triple food, energy, and financial catastrophe” across the continent.

On Saturday, Guterres embarked on a Ramadan solidarity tour of three West African countries: Nigeria, Senegal, and Niger.

On Tuesday, he is anticipated to arrive in Nigeria.

While in Dakar, the capital of Senegal on his first visit to the continent, Guterres said, “When discussing the socio-economic situation, it is impossible not to mention the war in Ukraine and its impact on Africa.”

The UN chief made the remarks after meeting President Macky Sall of Senegal, who said the war in Ukraine was “a human tragedy” which could have “a dramatic impact on economies, in particular, those of developing countries.”

The conflict in Ukraine is driving up global food and fuel prices, and senior United Nations officials are afraid that growing expenses would push more people into poverty.

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According to the United Nations, the war might cause political instability and civil unrest in Africa, where food prices have risen by a third since 2021.

Climate change, conflict, and the COVID-19 epidemic were already having an impact on Africa’s socio-economic status, particularly in the Sahel region, which includes Senegal, when the Russian invasion began in February.

Messrs. Guterres and Sall had visited the Institut Pasteur in Dakar, which is now constructing a new high-tech vaccine production plant.

When finished, it will be capable of producing a variety of vaccines, including Pfizer-BioNTech, one of the most extensively used COVID-19 immunisations.

It will also be able to produce experimental malaria and TB vaccinations.

At the end of World Immunisation Week, Guterres said it was necessary to build true vaccine equity across the world adding that it was “unacceptable” that close to 80 per cent of Africans were not vaccinated against COVID-19; a situation he called a “moral failure.”

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Sall had advocated for pharmaceutical sovereignty by encouraging the development of an African pharmaceutical industry capable of addressing fundamental requirements and responding to pandemics.

Senegal is boosting its pharmaceuticals manufacturing sector as part of the COVID-19 recovery plan. At least half of the country’s vaccine demands are expected to be met by the immunization facility.

Guterres added that the world’s “wealthiest countries and pharmaceutical companies should accelerate the donation of vaccines and invest in local production,” of the type seen at the Institut Pasteur facility.

Addressing reporters in Dakar, Guterres said, “We must ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, removing all unnecessary export restrictions.”

He went on to say that countries should avoid the urge to hoard energy and instead release strategic reserves.

According to the United Nations, the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine might force a quarter of a billion people into extreme poverty by 2022.

(NAN)

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