Poor harvests and the delay of seasonal rain has resulted in East Africa facing food shortages, which will increase the cost of living and push up governments’ budget deficits this year.
While the region’s average cost of living remains relatively unchanged during the three months to March, inadequate food supply and rising oil prices may lead to higher inflation in the coming months, the East African reported.
Felipe Jaramillo, the country director of World Bank Kenya, warned that emergency intervention may be necessary to deal with food shortages and the situation serves as a reminder of managing agricultural risks in Kenya.
The Bank of Uganda said Uganda’s weakening currency and agricultural production impeded by weather issues were negatively impacting inflation.
The Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG), a regional platform of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, says that although the food insecure population is lower than that of 2017 (15.3 million), there is a high risk of a worsening situation due to rainfall deficits.
In the Greater Horn of Africa region, more than 23 million people are food insecure. This figure includes 10.7 million people already starving across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and the Karamoja region in Uganda.
Additionally, more than four million children will need support for acute malnutrition – 2.76 million under-fives in Ethiopia, 903,086 in Somalia and 54,309 in Kenya.
– African News Agency