June 17, 2024

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U.S seeks long-term solution to address food insecurity in Africa as Russian War on Ukraine worsen the situation

TOP AFRICA NEWS Reporter

While the African continent is threatened by the food shortages and rising prices as a result of the Russian War on Ukraine, the United States says it is doing its best to help the affected population and coming up with long-term solutions not only today but also in the post Russian war era.

This was revealed in a digital press conference held on April 5, 2022 with Ambassador Cindy H. McCain, the Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome and Dr. Jim Barnhart, the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security.

The two officials briefed Journalists on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and its Impact on Food Security in Africa and Beyond

On the issue concerning refugees in camps, such as the Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda, Ambassador McCain said that “not just in Rwanda, but the long-standing ones that are in Kenya, and some other parts of Africa. They will also be touched by this food insecurity and by this food shortage that is occurring now.”

“So, decisions are perhaps going to be made about what the long-term prospect is for refugee camps.” She explains.

She added that Kenya has the serious issue of affected refugees adding that “The Rwandan ones are not quite in the same situation. But I think your underlying question is, will they be forgotten? And the answer is no. But there will be less in the short term, there will be less food. To go around is really the bottom line.” She added.

During the same briefing Dr. Jim Banhart added that the U.S government is not sitting idle to deal with the issue of food insecurity.

He said that the United State through “Feed the Future Programmes” has done a lot to address the issue of food shortage and through similar initiatives what has been done can be replicated to address the impacts of the Russian war on food security in Africa and beyond.

“So, it’s a whole government programme, right? It involves USAID, or State Department, it involves the Department of Agriculture, US government entities, including the National Space Administration, NASA. And so, we work together as a whole of the US government to try to address food insecurity and malnutrition around the world.” He said

“In East Africa, for instance, one of the things that we’re doing is we brought in NASA and their expertise on satellite imagery, to do mapping of groundwater and other kinds of changes in climate.

And so, to try to provide information to smallholder farmers through digital technology, … on planting seasons and crops, so that they are able to plan for any kind of weather disruption. “said Dr. Jim

“We bring in all sorts of technology, as the ambassador noted, and then other types of investments to try to help these communities not only get through these crises, but actually thrive in the long run. And so that’s what we’re trying to do in East Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa as well.” He added.

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