West Africa: Food Supply

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 27th May 2021.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Scottish National Party, Glasgow North

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure access to humanitarian support for populations in West Africa that are experiencing chronic food insecurity as a result of (a) climate change, (b) the covid-19 pandemic and (c) conflict.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

In West Africa, conflict is a significant driver of food insecurity. It is compounded by chronic poverty and climate change, and the impact of COVID-19 has made worse an already desperate situation for many people. As the Integrated Review makes clear, the UK will continue to prioritise humanitarian preparedness and response, especially food security and famine prevention.

In September 2020, the Foreign Secretary launched a Call to Action to Prevent Famine. Since then, the UK has pledged £180 million to tackle food insecurity and famine risk, providing aid to more than seven million vulnerable people in some of the world's most dangerous places, including in West Africa. In April I visited Nigeria and discussed the situation in the North East with humanitarian agencies, and international organisations and partners. The UK Government is providing a substantial package of assistance to North East Nigeria, worth £400 million over five years (2017-2022), including food assistance for up to 1.5 million people. In the Sahel, we are spending up to £163 million between 2019-21 to respond to food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs across five Sahelian countries - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania.

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