Soaring food prices raise risks of social unrest in Africa, IMF says

The spike in food prices caused by the war in Ukraine is increasing “the risk of social unrest” in Africa, warned the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, fourteen years after the “food riots“.

We are very concerned about the recent spike in food and fuel prices” on the continent, indicated the director of the African department at the IMF, Abebe Aemro Selassie, noting the risks of “social protests” in a number of countries.

This shock hits the poorest in an extremely targeted manner, by increasing food prices, those of fuels and transport in general, and at the end of the chain the producers of goods and services which raise their prices.“, he continued.

The rise in food prices is unprecedented. They hit a new high in March and erased the previous high from 2011, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) index, which includes prices for vegetable oils, cereals or dairy products.

The increase in wheat prices is “particularly worrying“, writes the IMF in its report titled “a new shock and little room for maneuver“. Because sub-Saharan Africa imports 85% of its cereal consumption, with particularly high amounts in Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mozambique.

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