Yellen urges 'urgent' steps to ensure Africa's food security

Agence France-Presse
Yellen urges 'urgent' steps to ensure Africa's food security
A pastoralist from the local Gabra commutniy shades his eyes from the sun as he looks out at a field strewn with Sheep and goat carcasses on the outskirts of a small settlement called 'kambi ya nyoka' (snake camp) suspected to have succumbed due to sudden change in climate in Marsabit county January 29, 2022. A devastating drought in Kenya late-last year, that appeared to give way to flash storms that yielded flooding and chilly weather conditions in early 2022, has seen pastoral communities in the east african nation's arid north lose their livestock, first to drought and then floods and cold.
AFP / Tony Karumba

LUSAKA, Zambia — US Treasury chief Janet Yellen on Tuesday called for urgent and climate-resilient steps to boost food security in Africa in the wake of a changing climate as she toured Zambia.

Wrapping up her two-day visit to the southern African nation, Yellen said the climate change-fuelled severity and frequency of storms, floods and droughts have hurt agricultural yields on the continent.

"We must take urgent action to adapt agricultural practices and technology to the changing climate," she said during a tour of a project that assists small-scale farmers better manage the impacts of changing weather patterns.

The project, situated some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the capital Lusaka, is bankrolled by the Green Climate Fund, which has received $1 billion from the US government.

She said the United States was giving priority to "innovative projects" including supplying farmers with seeds that are more resilient to droughts, heat and extreme conditions.

Yellen slammed Russia's "unprovoked war of aggression against its neighbour (which) has hurt Africa by exacerbating existing food insecurity and creating an unnecessary drag on the continent's economy".

Yellen, who has been to Senegal, was due to travel to South Africa for the next leg of her African tour, just days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pretoria.



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