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This blog post originally appeared on IFPRI.org and is part of a special series of analyses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on national and global food and nutrition security, poverty, and development. The blog series is edited by IFPRI director general Johan Swinnen and A4NH director John McDermott.
The number of African countries facing acute food insecurity rose in June, according to the latest AGRA Food Security Monitor. The Food Monitor defines acute food insecurity as occurring when more than 50 percent of the population lacks access to sufficient food supplies. Acutely food-insecure countries in the region now include South Sudan (60%), Burkina Faso (59%), and Mali (58%).
Our window of opportunity for achieving SDG 2 — eradicating hunger and malnutrition and ensuring access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food for all by 2030 — is closing rapidly. However, far from moving closer to that goal, the world has seen a resurgence of hunger and food insecurity.
Several African countries are currently experiencing acute or worsening food insecurity, according to FEWS Net.
Every year, people in Sub-Saharan Africa consume 34 million tons of milled rice, of which 43 percent is imported. But the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly hampered supply chains, making it difficult for imported rice to reach the continent. Indeed, if immediate action is not taken, the supply shortfall will further strain the region’s food systems which are already impacted by the pandemic.