Secretary General of United Nations, Antonio Guterres has said that Africa’s “triple crisis” has been aggravated by Ukraine war. Speaking from Senegal’s capital Dakar, Guterres who is on his first visit to Africa since the Covid-19 pandemic began, said, “when discussing the socio-economic situation, it is impossible not to mention the war in Ukraine and its impact on Africa.”
War in Ukraine, a catastrophic event, has adversely impacted global balance. The food and fuel prices have driven up like never before, raising concerns of a looming food crisis and political instability in Africa that has been struggling under continuous increase in food prices.
Food, Energy and Financial crisis in Africa
Guterres has specially mentioned the “triple crisis” that will impact Africa like never before. Guterres said while talking to the media “we must ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, removing all unnecessary export restrictions,” adding that “countries must resist the temptation to hoard and instead release strategic stocks of energy.”
United Nations has estimated that this year about a quarter billion people could be pushed into poverty led by Ukraine war’s consequences.
Global Crisis Response
In March 2022, the UN Secretary General had established the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG). The group was set up in response to the global crisis that has been provoked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Guterres said that “the invasion was producing alarming effects on a world economy already battered by Covid-19 and climate change”.
Since the global manufacturing and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines began, African continent has been a victim of vaccine inequity. But now a new vaccine production facility is being built in Dakar by Institut Pasteur. This facility will be able to step up in-house production of vaccines against Covid-19, including Pfizer-BioNTech. Vaccines against malaria and tuberculosis will also be manufactured at the facility.
Guterres said that it was necessary to “build true vaccine equity across the world,” and that it was “unacceptable” that about 80 per cent of African population remains unvaccinated against Covid-19.
Africa has evidently been the most impacted continent during pandemic, and now the Ukraine war has aggravated the crisis. How do you think the global response must be directed to bring a positive change in the continent? Comment below and share your thoughts.