Recently, foreign and national media have focused significantly on the impact of a full-scale russian war against Ukraine on the state of global food security.
Given that, according to the United Nations, before russia’s aggression against Ukraine, 44 million people in 38 countries were on the verge of starvation. And the war may increase this figure to 52-57 million people.
Food security is the state of economy that ensures country’s food independence and provides for physical, economic and social accessibility of sufficient nutritious and safe food to the population, in accordance with the recommended diet and nutrition standards.
russia’s war against Ukraine has demonstrated the vulnerability of national and global food systems to anthropogenic (armed conflict), economic (rise in global food prices) and natural factors (greater impact of crop failures due to disruption of global food supplies).
Ukraine and russia together account for about 30% of world exports of wheat and 15% of corn, as well as about 80% of trade in sunflower products. FAO estimates that the war will increase world food prices by more than 20%. The supply disruptions in the Black Sea region have already led to an increase in the Grain and Oilseeds Index (IGC), which shows movements in grains/oilseeds export prices, to its highest level on record (https://bit.ly/3MgPMGW).
In addition, the war will adversely affect food security in many countries in the Middle East and North Africa. They import more than 90% of their food needs, and russia and Ukraine remain their closest food suppliers. World Bank and EBRD experts note that Turkey, Egypt, India, Thailand, Georgia, Armenia, South Africa, Lebanon, and even Sri Lanka may become the “victims” of russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Nearly 1/3 of Ukrainian fields remain unsuitable for sowing due to hostilities. As a result, the continuation of russia’s war against Ukraine will cause deep economic shocks that will have an impact on the liquidity of agricultural producers, the global demand increase for agricultural products, the food supply reduction in many countries, the rising food prices and accelerating inflation.
Ukraine was, is and will remain a classic net exporter in the world market of agricultural products. However, the introduction of national support mechanisms for the agricultural sector could facilitate the recovery of the Ukrainian economy. Given the seriousness of the situation, FAO experts have already released a $115 million Rapid Response Plan, which includes a number of measures to support the Ukrainian agricultural sector by the end of 2022.