Remote corners of Africa feel costly impacts of War in Ukraine : Goats and Soda In Chad, one of the continent's poorest countries, rising food and fuel prices — and drought — have left many hungry and unable to afford the limited food that is for sale.

Even remote corners of Africa are feeling the costly impacts of war in Ukraine

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The reverberations of the war in Ukraine have been felt all over the world. Rising food and fuel prices have impacted many beyond the borders of Ukraine itself including in rural parts of Africa, as Willem Marx reports from Chad.

WILLEM MARX, BYLINE: It's early morning, and in the dirt courtyard outside Youssouf Ibrahim Abderaman's home, the children are crowding together for their first and final meal of the day - a morsel of fried bread dipped in sweetened green tea eaten at speed. Youssouf is father to nine, grandfather to several more.

YOUSSOUF IBRAHIM ABDERAMAN: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: "If you earn a living day by day," he says, "you eat whatever you get. Sometimes you don't get anything to eat for a day. Sometimes you're able to buy food for the whole day, sometimes for half a day. That's how it goes."

MARX: (Non-English language spoken). What, I ask, are the consequences for his young children?

ABDERAMAN: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: "When it comes to the kids," he says, "you have to make do. What little you have, you put it aside for them. You forget about yourself. When there's enough food, you eat together; otherwise, you just give it to them."

Food prices in this small town called Moussoro jumped this year as they did right across the African nation of Chad - for those already accustomed to acute shortage, a confounding consequence of Russia's attack on Ukraine.

ALHADJ ADOUM BERKEDAI: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: "Everything is more expensive," says Alhadj Adoum Berkedai who heads the local chamber of commerce. Pasta, flour, rice, millet - everything's more expensive. In the past, prices increased after the rainy season. But these past few months, the Ukraine-Russia conflict made everything expensive.

(Non-English language spoken).

Berkedai shows me several of his storerooms that would usually be filled with flour or sugar but now, thanks to the conflict in Ukraine, stand completely empty. In this landlocked country, most food arrives via the Sahara, but high fuel prices have made the 15-day truck journey across the desert far less affordable. The knock-on effects are felt at the town's only bakery where Mahamat Tahir oversees daily bread deliveries, stacking loaves onto trucks and small motorbikes.

MAHAMAT TAHIR: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: "It's not profitable for the bakery now," he says. "We're continuing to function just to avoid closing down. The company is not making any profit." Beyond the town in villages like Chabaka, malnutrition strikes frequently...


MARX: ...Its frightening effects measured in the arms and legs of babies at this food distribution center. Here, families rely increasingly on infrequent handouts from the United Nations' World Food Program.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: The U.N. says this year in Chad, 1.3 million children lack sufficient food. Two in every 5 suffer from stunted growth, and price increases help push those numbers even higher. Sadick Mahamat Rozi oversees the food dispersal.

SADICK MAHAMAT ROZI: (Non-English language spoken).

MARX: "It's been worsening since 2010," he says. "But now with the situation in Ukraine, it's getting even worse. Each harvest, the crisis is increasing. The number of malnourished children is increasing. So families are forced to wait and hope for harvests that yield less and less each year, for rations that are never enough, and now for a distant war to end." For NPR News, I'm Willem Marx in Chabaka, Chad.


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