Africa may face food crisis following floods

The Red Cross warned on Wednesday that a food crisis could be looming across East and West Africa due to the massive damage wrought on crops by ongoing flooding.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies highlighted the situation in Ghana, Sudan and Uganda, which are among the largest nations out of the 22 struck by floods that have affected an estimated 1,5-million people.

”Massive damage to crops and the widespread destruction of grain stores by the floods have left many communities facing an uncertain future,” said Kiflemariam Amdemariam, East Africa food-security coordinator at the Federation.

”With harvests either already happening, or just a few months away, a second emergency is looming as food shortages could become widespread,” he added in a statement.

Most crops have been destroyed or washed away in Uganda, according to the federation, wiping out what was expected to be a good harvest.

In Sudan, the torrential rains came a month earlier than expected and caught many communities unprepared, it added.

”The devastating impact of these floods will be felt by the affected communities for many months to come,” said Amdemariam, calling for more help for the most vulnerable.

Aid agencies have launched appeals for emergency funds to counter the effects of the flooding and prepare for its aftermath.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Tuesday pledged to use all its resources to help African nations hit by the flooding. It estimated that the cost of assisting affected farming communities in East and West Africa was about $12-million. — Sapa-AFP

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