Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has delivered a further “huge negative shock” to sub-Saharan Africa, driving food and energy prices higher and putting the most vulnerable people at risk of hunger, the head of the IMF’s Africa Department told Reuters.
The food security crisis had piled pressure on countries already grappling with a protracted Covid-19 pandemic, disrupted education, loss of income and serious debt problems, Abebe Aemro Selassie said in an interview. That is making it difficult for those countries to mitigate the impact of inflation, he said.
All those factors also stoked the chances of social unrest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in its biannual regional economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, published Thursday.
“It’s a recipe for very, very difficult policymaking, but also the social environment,” Mr Selassie said. “This is a crisis, which is almost laser-focused on hitting the most vulnerable people in the most vulnerable countries acutely.”