The Ukraine conflict is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that is subsequently increasing food insecurity across the globe. This threat follows the rise in hunger, food insecurity, and worsening nutrition caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian and social protection responses will be needed to cushion the negative impact of these developments on vulnerable communities across the globe. Liliana Mosca, SI Representative to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports:
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened the food security crisis in many countries according to the sixth annual Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC 2022) issued by the Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) – an international alliance of the United Nations, the European Union, governmental and non-governmental agencies working to tackle food crises together.
The document reveals that around 193 million people in 53 countries or territories experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels (IPC/CH Phase 3-5) in 2021. This represents an increase of nearly 40 million people compared with the already record numbers of 2020. The countries already coping with the high levels of acute hunger are particularly vulnerable to the risks created by the Ukraine war as denounced by Antonio Guterres Secretary-General of the United Nations: “ The war in Ukraine is supercharging a three-dimensional crisis – food, energy, and finance – with devastating impacts on the world’s most vulnerable people, countries and economies”.
The Ukraine conflict will not only be devastating for countless Ukrainians, in particular women, girls, and elderly persons but also for millions of vulnerable people elsewhere, particularly for an ongoing hunger crisis described in GRFC 2022. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley expressed a similar concern stating: “The bullets and bombs in Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to levels beyond anything we’ve seen before”.
The Ukraine and Russia together export 27 percent of the world’s wheat, and Russia is a major global supplier of fertiliser in particular to the African continent. Many African countries depend heavily on food imports (80 percent of all wheat) and fertiliser from Russia and Ukraine. The economic difficulties could also exacerbate social tensions due to the raising in food prices in many nations of the continent, such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Sudan, Horn of Africa, Malawi, and South Africa.
For example in Morocco thousands of Moroccans rally in the capital and other cities in February 2022, in Sudan, according to the World Food Programme, the population will face hunger as the fallout from October’s coup (25 October 2021) and the war in Ukraine , in Malavi people protested for a high price for food, fuel, and essential items, in the Horn of Africa the impact of the war in Ukraine is worsening the devastating food crisis for millions of Somalis, Ethiopians and Kenyans already in urgent need of aid due to the region’s worst drought in almost 40 years.
The Ukraine war will also be a major threat to the ‘The Year of Nutrition for Africa‘, declared by the African Union last February with the main objective to strengthen resilience in food and nutrition security and to meet the goal of ending hunger by 2025.”
Click HERE to read SI’s position on Food Security.
Click HERE to read SI’s statement on the war in Ukraine.
 FAO, IFPRI, WFP, 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, Rome, Fao, 2022, https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000138913/download/?_ga=2.256115467.1843557088.1652113601-547778904.1652113601
 FAO, IFPRI, WFP, 2022 Global Report on Food Crises, p.5
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