ITALY, May 29 – Kenya is among 22 mainly African countries who are "especially vulnerable" to soaring food and fuel prices, according to a report by the UN food agency ahead of a summit on food security next week in Rome.
"Large increases in food and fuel prices threaten macroeconomic stability and overall growth, especially of low-income, net-importing countries," the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes in the report published on Wednesday.
It lists 22 countries "that are especially vulnerable due to a combination of high levels of chronic hunger, while being highly dependent on imports of petroleum products and, in many cases, on imports of major grains (rice, wheat and maize) for domestic consumption."
Eritrea, Niger, the Comoros, Botswana, Haiti and Liberia face all three risk factors, the report notes.
The other countries, in order of severity, are Burundi, Tajikistan, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Zambia, the Central African Republic, Mozambique, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Cambodia, North Korea, Rwanda and Kenya.
The summit at FAO’s Rome headquarters will bring together heads of state and government or high-level representatives, as well as those of several UN agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions, next Tuesday through Thursday.
They will focus on food security, global warming and the rising demand for biofuels.