A recent report released by the United Nations Development Program warns that Russia's war in Ukraine is triggering new crises in Africa, causing development and economic disruptions.
Trade disturbances, food and fuel price spikes and security challenges are among the top areas of concern, the report issued on Tuesday says.
African countries are still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged some 50 million people into extreme poverty. Meanwhile, the Horn of Africa is experiencing severe drought and acute hunger in West Africa is at a 10-year high, according to the World Food Program.
Achim Steiner, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and UNDP administrator, says efforts are needed to reframe development finance and strengthen resilience in African economies.
“Africa is facing a double crisis with the combined effects of the war in Ukraine and of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with strategic partnerships, the crisis also presented the opportunity to rechart Africa's development trajectory, breaking away from a dependency cycle,” Steiner said in the report.
The war in Ukraine is making development goals in Africa harder to reach, according to the UNDP. The report urges immediate action to reduce the war’s repercussions on African countries.
Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who met this month with African representatives from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) stressed the importance of international cooperation.
“This is a critical moment for the international community and policymakers to come together, and I was very encouraged by the strong interest from African policymakers in continuing our dialogue on policy responses,” she said.
According to UNDP’s report, immediate efforts to expand the fiscal space in Africa and strengthening the African resilience to global shocks could help mitigate the damage.
The agency is also launching a new data initiative that could be used by decision-makers to help reduce the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the African continent.