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IMF: African Nations Should Prioritize Food Security in Their Policies

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommends that nations in Sub-Saharan Africa make addressing food insecurity their top priority.

At the news conference on the October regional economic forecast for the region at the IMF/World Bank annual meetings held in Washington DC on Friday, Abebe Selassie, the IMF director for the African department, made this statement in his opening remarks.

He claimed that the region’s economic prognosis indicated that growth is anticipated to abruptly fall from 4.7% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022.

According to him, growth in 2023 is predicted to be modest and average about 3.7%.

“The most recent unrest is only the most recent in a string of shocks that have affected the region’s policy space over the previous few years. The most vulnerable people in the region are being hit by rising food and energy prices,” Mr. Selassie added.

According to Mr. Selassie, state debt in the region has risen to levels last seen in the early 2000s, accounting for about 60% of GDP.

In reality, 19 of the region’s 35 low-income countries are currently in debt trouble or are very likely to enter it, and 40% of the economies in the region are experiencing double-digit inflation rates.

Many nations are “pushed closer to the edge against this backdrop and with few options,” he said.

The most vulnerable people must be protected, and Mr. Selassie continued, “The first goal is to tackle food insecurity, with an emphasis on channeling few resources to those who need them most.

“Authorities will therefore need to keep streamlining the public budget despite more challenging funding conditions.”

For this, he said, it would be necessary to continue raising revenue, to pay closer attention to important spending objectives, to work more efficiently, and to manage debt responsibly.


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