Calls for urgent action on exacerbated food prices following Ukraine war  

A woman selling tomatoes in a market in Dedza, Malawi, along the border with Mozambique.
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ActionAid has commended the government’s support on the statement issued by the African Union (AU) on reported blocks on African citizens trying to cross the Ukraine border.

This unacceptable treatment is shockingly racist and in breach of international law, ActionAid said.

“We also applaud the AU for choosing ‘Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security on the Africa continent’ to mark the 2022 Africa Day.The theme is significant in addressing malnutrition and improving food security across the continent,” it said. 

While recognising the importance of the theme, we are gravely concerned as leaders of an organisation that stands in solidarity with the poor, by the increases in food prices that has already reached record highs since the beginning of the Ukraine war.

The war in Ukraine is seriously disrupting the food supply chain.  African countries are major trading partners with Russia and Ukraine for supplies of wheat, edible oil and fertilizer. Half of the grains distributed by the World Food Progamme (WFP) through its food support programmes come from Ukraine and Russia.  

The rising price of food has disproportional impacts on people living in poverty, particularly women and children. It is also so critical in humanitarian crisis, such as the worsening climate-induced drought in the Horn of Africa where over 14 million people are facing severe hunger and water shortages.

The Cyclone in Southern Africa Countries affected 2.7 million people. There are also millions of refugees and internally displaced people in the Horn and West Africa because of political crisis and conflicts.  In the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, other humanitarian crisis including the humanitarian crisis in Africa are not receiving enough economic, political and public support. 

In addition to the above there are now 100 million low-income urban dwellers who are hard hit by the rising food prices, many of them women headed households. People in the continent are already grappling to cope with the economic fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic and this is placing women and girls at increased risk of gender-based violence and exploitation – as always happens at times of hunger.  


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