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Africa faces COVID-19 pandemic amid food crisis

A man wears an information poster to deliver information on COVID-19 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  (Photo: EFE)

A man wears an information poster to deliver information on COVID-19 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.  (Photo: EFE)

United Nations, April 6 (RHC)-- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has warned that over five million people face serious food insecurity in the Sahel in a humanitarian crisis "out of control." 

"The dramatic increase in the number of hungry people comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to fragile countries in a region that is home to the world's weakest health systems," WFP said.

In Burkina Faso, the sub-Saharan African country that has recorded 16 deaths from COVID-19, the number of hungry people is expected to reach 2.1 million in June.  "People are on the brink of the abyss. We must step forward now to save lives. We are the only hope for millions of people," WFP Regional Director for West Africa Chris Nikoi stressed.

"Our message to the world is clear: if you look away now, the consequences will be catastrophic, to say the least."  The number of food-insecure people in #BurkinaFaso is expected to triple in the next lean season. And with #COVID19 reaching Central Sahel, Burkina Faso has seen the largest number of deaths anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

To somewhat mitigate the effects of this situation, the WFP operations require at least $ 208 million until next August.  According to information from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 6,400 COVID-19 cases in Africa, a continent where 229 patients have died so far.

The countries with the highest number of confirmed cases are South Africa (1,380), Algeria (847), Egypt (779), and Morocco (638).

To contain the pandemic, some African governments have established strict border controls and banned concentrations of people in public areas.
 

Edited by Ed Newman
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