Oxfam warns of famine in East Africa due to war in Ukraine

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Aid organisation, Oxfam has warned of an impending food crisis in East Africa, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one of the factors driving a potential disaster.

Oxfam Executive Director Gabriela Bucher said in a statement that Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan, among others, were particularly at risk.

Even if seasonal rains start this month, the situation would not completely ease, she added.

She said up to 28 million people could be affected.

The impact of the war on Ukraine is two-fold on East Africa, according to Oxfam.

The international community’s attention is focused on Russia’s invasion and so will not respond to the escalating crisis in East Africa as it might have done otherwise.

Furthermore, countries in East Africa import up to 90 per cent of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia, with the flow of grain set to be affected by the war.

“The impact of the Ukraine conflict on the global food system will be felt around the globe, but it is the poorest and most vulnerable people who will be hit hardest and fastest,” Bucher said.

Oxfam said 21 million people in East Africa are already struggling with severe hunger, yet humanitarian aid in the region is woefully underfunded.

(dpa)

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