“This decision follows the constant deterioration of the food and nutritional situation this year and taking into account the growing risk to populations if no humanitarian aid…is provided,” read the decree.
The appeal comes ahead of a meeting between African Union Chairman Macky Sall and Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Russian grain supplies.
The United Nations has warned that 5.5 million Chadians, or more than one-third of the country’s population, will require humanitarian assistance this year.
The World Food Programme said in March that some 2.1 million Chadians would be “severely food insecure” during the dry weather season that starts this month.
Russia and Ukraine were the world’s second and third cereal exporters in 2020, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Africa imported $4 billion in agricultural products from Russia that same year. This is especially true for Maghreb countries that rely on Russian and Ukrainian wheat.
With imports accounting for more than half of the total. Southern Africa is not immune; for example, Zambia and Zimbabwe are expected to suffer economic setbacks. All fertilizers used in the country are supplied by Russian companies to the bank.
Chad’s request for assistance comes as the AU chairperson and the chairman of the AU commission meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday in an attempt to mediate in the Ukraine conflict and discuss the release of grain and fertilizer stocks that have been blocked, affecting countries that rely heavily on imports.
In a message to European leaders meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Senegalese President Macky Sall urged them to do everything possible “to release the grain stocks available” in Ukraine but blocked due to Russia’s offensive, which organizes a blockade in the Black Sea and prohibits access to the port of Odessa. Sall described a “catastrophic scenario of scarcity and generalized price increases.” The Senegalese president also addressed the impact of Western sanctions against Russia.
With the exclusion of certain Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT banking system), Africa’s ability to pay for supplies has become more difficult.
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