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Flooding: IMF warns Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad against food crisis

Foods and Fruits

*The International Monetary Fund emphasises the need for governments to provide ‘social assistance’ to moderate the impact of floods and food insecurity on consumers

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad may experience food crisis, following the recent incidence of flooding in some states in Nigeria as well as other neighbouring countries.

Mai Farid of the African Department of IMF said this while holding a discussion on the analytical corner on “Climate Change and Food Insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa”, agency report said.

The global financial body noted the situation is capable of worsening food insecurity, and thus higher food prices in the countries.

In his presentation of foreseeable economic impact of floods in Benue, Kogi and Anambra states of Nigeria, Farid said: “We are very cognisant of the challenge that the flood of that magnitude and how it affected Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

“We also recognise that Chad and Cameroon have also been hit, absolutely, you’re totally right in terms of the supply of agricultural production, it is going to drop which will put even further pressure on prices.

“In addition, if the floods have affected some of the transportation networks as in Kogi, which makes it even harder for food to move from point in the country or even out in any essence storage.”

He stated that Nigeria and other countries in the sub Saharan Africa are the most food insecure region and also the region most vulnerable to climate change and yet the least prepared to pay, there is need for governments to invest in early warning system technology and and infrastructure that is climate resilient.

lso John Spray of the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF also stressed the need to provide social assistance to moderate the impact of floods and food insecurity on the people.

Spray said: “One thing our model tells us is that there can be permanent effects and short term shocks. And so getting people to food and cash early, getting that social assistance out to people can have a really big impact in the long run.

“So there’s a kind of urgency where we think it’s important that when there is a shock that people can get access to food.

“They don’t have to take more drastic measures, pulling children out of school or sacrificing other assets.”

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