Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund  (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva,  called for urgent actions against global food insecurity.

Writing in a blog, she said that acute food insecurity was threatening the lives and livelihoods of 345 million people , across the world.

“The suffering is worst in 48 countries, many highly dependent on food imports from Ukraine and Russia. The financial costs of the crisis are rising, too.

“We must all act now to ease the suffering of those experiencing hunger, by supporting countries who take strong policy action with the financing they need,” she said.

The IMF staff have estimated that the rising cost of food and fertilizer imports in countries highly exposed to food insecurity will add $9 billion to their balance of payments pressures in 2022-23.

They warned, “This will erode their international reserves and ability to pay for food imports.”

According to them, many countries’ policymakers have introduced fiscal measures to protect people from the food crisis and that highly exposed countries would need as much as $7 billion this year alone to help the poorest households.

According to the IMF, “The international community must…take decisive action to ensure that the needed financing is in place.”

Food and energy costs have  been driving global inflation rates for several months, particularly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Nigeria, the food prices have also driven the inflation rate to 20.5 percent due to attacks on farmers by criminals claiming to be herders and bandits, which have negatively impact food production, across the country.

Flooding of farms has also exacerbated the challenges of food production, in the last two months.

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