Drought Warnings In West Africa Raise Regional Food Security Concerns

A warning from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency about drought in northern parts of the country has raised “concern about food security not only in Africa’s most populous nation but also in other parts of West Africa,” Reuters AlertNet reports. The news service writes, “Crop failure and food deficits in Nigeria could have a serious impact on the region because half of all the cereals produced by all 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) come from there.”

Claude Jibidar, deputy regional director of the World Food Programme for West Africa said, “If Nigeria has a deficit in cereals production it represents large quantities, and Nigeria in its search for food will probably draw from other countries. That could represent a major food security risk for lots of countries in the region, starting with Niger not to mention Mali and even Mauritania,” said Jibidar (Fominyen, 10/15).

The Niger Association for the Defense of Human Rights has issued a drought and famine warning that could impact 2.7 million of the country’s 15.3 million people, Bloomberg reports (Saidou, 10/15). The association called for urgent intervention from authorities in Niger and said, “Already, many able-bodied persons have deserted their villages for urban centres and neighbouring countries,” because of the situation, Reuters AlertNet reports (10/15).