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Somalia: Russian-Ukraine War Impacts East African Food Supply

THE BURTON WIRE — To give some perspective, the U.N. reports Ukraine’s appeal for $2.2B has been 80 percent met, while Somalia’s much smaller appeal has been 30 percent funded. Somalia’s aid funding is at less than half of last year’s level even though Western donors have sent more than $1.7B to respond to the war in Europe. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Palestinian territories are also being affected by this diversion. The Horn of Africa region where Somalia is located, is experiencing its worst drought in decades.

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In April, the World Food Program raised an alarm that 20 million people are at risk of starvation this year as delayed rains worsen an already brutal drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
In April, the World Food Program raised an alarm that 20 million people are at risk of starvation this year as delayed rains worsen an already brutal drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Al-Jazeera is reporting Russia’s war on Ukraine is drawing millions of dollars away from other crises including the food shortage crisis in Somalia. Funding that typically goes to the vulnerable nation are being diverted to the war on Ukraine, devastating Somalia.

To give some perspective, the U.N. reports Ukraine’s appeal for $2.2B has been 80 percent met, while Somalia’s much smaller appeal has been 30 percent funded. Somalia’s aid funding is at less than half of last year’s level even though Western donors have sent more than $1.7B to respond to the war in Europe. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Palestinian territories are also being affected by this diversion. The Horn of Africa region where Somalia is located, is experiencing its worst drought in decades.

In April, the World Food Program raised an alarm that 20 million people are at risk of starvation this year as delayed rains worsen an already brutal drought in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.

Experts and aid workers also say the war in Ukraine has contributed to rising costs of fuel and food in many countries across Africa. Wheat imports make up 90 percent of Africa’s $4B trade with Russia and almost half of the continent’s $4.5B trade with Ukraine, according to the Africa Development Bank.

“If we don’t manage this [food crisis] very quickly, it will actually destabilize the continent,” Africa Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina warned.

Al-Jazeera also reports, “In a single hospital in Somalia, more than two dozen children have died of hunger in the past two months alone.”

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual

Follow The Burton Wire on Twitter or Instagram @TheBurtonWire.

This article originally appeared in The Burton Wire.

Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer, entrepreneur and professor living her best life with her daughter Kai and fur-son Mr. Miyagi. She is founder and editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire, a news blog covering news of the African Diaspora. Dr. Burton is an expert in the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality and media related industries. An activist scholar, Nsenga has authored numerous articles on the subject and recently co-edited a book on Black Women’s Mental Health. You can see and hear her on radio, tv and new media waxing poetic about these issues. In her spare time she vacillates between fighting the power and Happy Hour. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

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