Ukraine war squeezes food supplies, drives up prices, threatens vulnerable nations |

Themed Ensuring global food security in times of crisisQU Dongyu, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOThe director general, told agriculture ministers from the wealthy G7 nations gathered in Stuttgart, Germany, that the most significant threats stem from conflict and the associated humanitarian impact, along with numerous conflicts overlapping crisis.

Grandfather speak.

A grim overview

Based on Global Food Crisis Report released on May 4, last year, about 193 million people in 53 countries/territories were officially in Crisis Phase, or worse (IPC/CH Phase 3 or higher).

Other data for 2021 shows that 570,000 people in four countries fall into the Catastrophic Stage (IPC/CH Phase 5) category.

Just over 39 million people in 36 countries face a State of Emergency (IPC/CH Phase 4); while just over 133 million people in 41 countries are in IPC/CH Phase 3. A total of 236.2 million people in 41 countries are living in Stage 2 conditions.

“Rising prices always has an impact on food security, especially for the poorest,” Mr. Qu reminded.

Emergency and recovery

In addition to “high prices due to strong demand and high input costs” due to COVID-19 The head of the FAO noted that Ukraine and Russia are key players in the global commodity market, explaining that uncertainty surrounding the war has driven prices up further.

Prices of wheat, corn and oilseeds have risen in particular.

At 160 points, FAO Food Price Index hit an all-time high in March, averaging 158.2 points in April, and remains at a historic high today.

Mr. Qu said FAO’s proposal Food import sponsors will be an important tool for easing the burden of food imports and rising input costs, potentially benefiting 1.8 billion people in 61 of the most vulnerable countries.

Rising prices always have an impact on food security Head of FAO

A balancing act

Since the start of the conflict in February, export forecasts for Ukraine and Russia have been revised down as other market participants, notably India and the European Union, have increased exports.

“This partially offsets the ‘lost’ exports from the Black Sea region, leaving a relatively modest gap of around 3 million tonnes,” said the FAO director.

He observed that export prices for wheat rose sharply in March, continued to rise in April, and are likely to “continue to rise in the coming months.”

He also urged governments “not to impose export restrictions, which could exacerbate rising food prices and erode confidence in global markets”.

Reliance on wheat

Turkey, Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Congo, Namibia and other countries that depend on Ukraine and Russia for wheat have been greatly affected.

These Countries need to identify new suppliers, Mr. Qu said, “which could pose a significant challenge, at least for the next six months.”

Famous countries are importing dependent on the food market from Ukraine and Russia.


Famous countries are importing dependent on the food market from Ukraine and Russia.

Depends on fertilizer

At the same time – with levels ranging from 20 to more than 70% – Brazil, Argentina, Bangladesh and others, depend on Russian fertilizers for their crops.

While Africa as a whole accounts for only 3-4% of global fertilizer consumption, Cameroon, Ghana and Ivory Coast are among the most vulnerable countries, heavily dependent on Russian supplies.

“We need to ensure that major food-exporting countries have access to the fertilizers they need to ensure a sufficient food supply for next year,” said the top FAO official. encourage all countries to improve fertilizer use efficiency, including through soil mapping and improved fertilization.

4-year-old Faylow was one of 160,000 children treated by UNICEF for severe malnutrition in Somalia in 2017.

UNICEF Somalia-Makundi

Support Ukraine

To assist farmers in accessing crops and livestock in the short and medium term, FAO has developed Rapid response plan for Ukrainewhich outlines three main actions.

The first is to maintain food production through cash and grain inputs in October, vegetable and potato production in spring, and to support July and August harvesting for the upcoming winter crop. .

Second, the plan advocates for strengthening agricultural supply chains, value chains and markets through public-private partnerships to provide technical assistance to households and smallholders.

And finally, it emphasizes the importance of ensuring accurate analyzes of food security conditions and needs as they evolve.

Coordination ‘indispensable’

The director-general said: “Coordinated action towards Ukraine within this group is indispensable to facilitate the smooth functioning of global food markets and thus to ensure food supplies for all. everyone.

“FAO emphasizes the need to support the continuity of farming activities in Ukraine; at the same time supporting the value chain of agricultural products”.

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