May 19, 2022

Ayorkor Botchwey Seeks Int’l Help To Africa’s Food Shortage Crisis

Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has called on the international community to help Africans in dealing with the food shortages.

At the Global Food Security Call to Action meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022, the Minister noted that the need to respond to the crisis has never been urgent as it is today.

“The ramifications indeed go beyond our food systems. Entire economies have been disrupted with millions and millions experiencing severe economic hardships under conditions that affect the stability of national life. The need for bold and urgent international action both to respond to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in parts of Africa and to build resilience for the future has never been more urgent”, she said.

Unrelenting in blaming the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war for the crisis, Shirley outlined some proposals in dealing with the crisis.

“We call for a global plan that ensures a well sequenced, timely, systematic and comprehensive response to the crisis that we face. That plan should support implementation of the African Common position for sustainable food systems. It should address the US$1.5billion Africa Emergency Food Production Plan and deepen support for existing initiatives that have shown great promise in diversifying risks and enhancing global redundancy such as the West African Food Security Storage Strategy.

“There is urgent need to strengthen and broaden partnerships in Agricultural, Research and Education as well as in the provision of agricultural inputs such as fertilisers, seeds and good agricultural practices”.

Additionally, she said that the “Collaborative effort of the IMF and the World bank in filling the financing gap in Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic provides a model for replicating and building resilience in middle and low income countries in the face of the multiple impact of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine including the effect of sanctions against the Russian Federation and the blockage of the black sea port.

She noted that West Africa and the Sahel should be strengthened against the effects of climate change, particularly on drought.

“As we meet here, the worst drought in decades is threatening an estimated 15 million people in the horn of Africa while the number of hungry in the Sahel and West Africa has quadrupled. More support is required to make available the food supplies needed in the current environment of food shortages and high prices.

“We call on the international humanitarian community to become part of national and regional coordination of mechanisms for programming and responding to humanitarian crises and to align their interventions with national and regional response plans. They should make full use of endogenous mechanisms in particular local, national and regional reserves”, she outlined.

She also urged the assembly to add their voices in order to achieve Goal two of Sustainable Development Goal.

Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini

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