Food insecurity becoming more prevalent in African countries, according African Union

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The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) says it is concerned about the increase in food insecurity in Africa, especially in countries where conflict persists.

The AU says prolonged fighting is affecting food production and many countries are failing to effectively feed their citizens. The situation has also been worsened by the effects of climate change.

The African body says starvation levels on the continent are on the rise.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisations says there are over 280 million food-insecure people in Africa.

The AUPSC is concerned that conflicts in parts of Africa are becoming a major root factor of starvation in the continent.

A report by the Food and Agriculture organisation, the World Food Programme identifies Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Sudan at high alert levels of food insecurity. Part of the reason for insufficient food supply in these countries is conflict.

The UN has also raised the red flag in West Africa where over 27 million people are food insecure in Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Nigeria partly because of conflict.

An analysis report by Amani Africa, African research think tank shows that due to conflict in some countries, humanitarian aid does not reach the intended beneficiaries.

The report further notes that parties to war are accused of using starvation as a tactic of war and destruction of agricultural inputs, products and infrastructure.

The AU is encouraging its member states to invest more in agriculture in order to feed their people. It adds that the conflict in Ukraine is already causing food shortages of some products like wheat, and also triggering donor fatigue as the wealthy nations redirect their focus on the conflict with Russia.

In 2014, African Union Member States agreed to commit 10% of their budget to agricultural production to eradicate hunger and poverty on the continent but several years later many are yet to achieve this target.