Africa: new crisis as a consequence of the war in Ukraine

People waiting ikn line for food delivery People waiting ikn line for food delivery Mehmet Ali Poyraz on Shutterstock

24 May 2022

African countries are currently suffering the direct effects of the war due to their dependence on Russia and Ukraine’s imports. 

On the 24 of May, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published a report entitled “The Impact of the War in Ukraine on Sustainable Development in Africa”, which informs about the indirect and direct effects of the war in Ukraine on African countries. According to the report, the main direct impacts of the war are trade disruptions, food and fuel price hikes, macroeconomic instability, and security concerns. Moreover, the heavy reliance on imports from Russia and Ukraine of these countries, will cause a significant shortage of food supplies, especially of agricultural products.

Furthermore, Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant-Secretary General and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Africa affirms that “Overall, the war in Ukraine constrains economic activity and could trigger further social tensions and unrest, which could have regional and global ramifications.”, underlining the importance of urgent measures in the continent. In this regard, the report underlines three main areas in which it is necessary to intervene to counteract the negative effects of the war: first, prioritize fiscal and economic stability; second, improve Africa’s resilience and the involvement of women and youth in local entrepreneurship; third, strengthen economic diversification and regional integration. 

Overall, the war in Ukraine is expected to cause several negative consequences on the already unstable African continent if governments and international organizations do not act promptly. UNDP is currently working hard to provide recommendations for the actions needed in Africa and is also launching a new platform for data gathering on the impact of the war.


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by Alexia Tenneriello

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