Japan Urged to Support Africa on Verge of Hunger Crisis

Politics Economy

Washington, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--Expectations of a Japanese government-led initiative for African development are high at a time when the continent is struggling with food price spikes and ballooning debt amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"We want Japan to support Africa" at international gatherings, including the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, a person involved said ahead of a TICAD meeting starting Aug. 27 in Tunisia for a two-day run.

The food crisis in East Africa, including Ethiopia and Kenya, is especially severe, as the area has been hit by the worst drought in more than 40 years on top of surging wheat prices due to the war between the world's major suppliers.

The U.N. World Food Program warns that more than 20 million people there will starve by the end of the year.

African countries are extremely vulnerable to "shocks" because of their dependence on foreign foodstuffs including grain, with food accounting for 20 pct of all imports in sub-Saharan nations, which is twice the share in other developing countries, according to the World Bank.

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