The number of West Africans suffering acute hunger has surged fourfold since 2019, driven in part by Nigeria’s fight against jihadists and military coups in Burkina Faso and now Niger.
(Bloomberg) — The number of West Africans suffering acute hunger has surged fourfold since 2019, driven in part by Nigeria’s fight against jihadists and military coups in Burkina Faso and now Niger.
Nearly 45 million people across the region are projected to face levels of hunger that pose an immediate risk to their lives, up from 10.7 million people in 2019, according to the US State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit.
Conflicts leading to mass displacement, natural disasters and higher food prices are the main drivers behind the latest estimate, the US agency said. The data covers the period between June and August.
Mali has been under military rule since 2020 while Guinea’s current junta regime seized power in 2021. Burkina Faso’s military forcefully took over last year before Niger soldiers’ putsch in July. Nigeria has been battling terror attacks in its North for years.
The highest number of people facing acute food insecurity are found in Nigeria with nearly 25 million currently struggling without enough food, up from 5 million in 2019.
In Burkina Faso, which has seen two military power grabs since 2022, the number rose by almost four times to 3.4 million, Mali and Guinea more than doubled to 1.3 million and 720,000 respectively, while Niger nearly quadrupled to 3.3 million.
–With assistance from Michael Gunn.
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