DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A group of international aid organizations says West Africa is facing its worst food crisis in a decade due to increasing conflict, drought, flooding and the war in Ukraine that is affecting food prices and worsening an already disastrous situation.
Since 2015 the number of people in need of emergency food assistance has nearly quadrupled from 7 million to 27 million in West African nations including Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali and Nigeria, where thousands have also been displaced because of rising Islamic extremist violence.
The report released Tuesday by nearly 11 agencies says that number could increase to 38 million by June if action isn’t taken soon.
Children are suffering deeply, with estimates by the United Nations saying that some 6.3 million children 5 years and under will be acutely malnourished this year. Young girls will also face the brunt of the problem, being forced into early marriage or facing gender-based violence as food becomes scarcer, the 11 international organizations said.