The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has warned that the region is facing an imminent hunger threat as COVID-19 restrictions across the region limits farming activities in the rainy season. The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohamed Tunis said this at the end of the 2020 2nd extra ordinary session of the parliament in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He said “Our greatest impediment is the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the world. Meanwhile, there is so much work to be done out there.” Our people are wallowing in poverty, which has further been compounded by the downward trend in economic activities occasioned by the prevailing situation.
The world, especially our sub-region, is under the threat of hunger. Even though we are in the rainy season, restrictions occasioned by the pandemic have made farming activities difficult. As Parliamentarians, we must fashion out a way of proposing cushioning effects. There is no doubt that the remaining part of 2020 and early 2021 would be highly challenging, both economically and socially. Ours is to collaborate with our Governments, both at national and regional levels, to ensure that we protect the interest of our people and work towards easing their affairs during this anticipated difficult period.” He said that one of the negative effects of the ongoing pandemic is the lack of access to medical care by our people with other ailments.
“Major economic activities are opening up, with a “new normal”. The aviation industry has designed methods of commencing business. In fact, several airports around the world, our sub-region inclusive, have reopened, especially for local operations. We are expecting that in the coming weeks, international operations may commence and air links between our Member States would be restored. Only when that happens can we, as a Parliament, take another look at our activities and determine those that can be executed in the remaining part of the year,” he added.