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Why the War in Ukraine Threatens Global Food Security


More than six weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there’s no end in sight to the conflict that has shook the world to its very core.


Aside from the immense suffering caused by Russia’s aggression in the Ukraine, the war is also having major repercussions around the world, especially on food security.


The head of the United Nations World Food Programme David Beasly recently warned that the war was creating a food crisis “beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II,“ leading to surging food prices and possibly shortages in many countries that rely on exports from Russia or Ukraine.


As the following chart, based on data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), shows, Ukraine and Russia are major producers of wheat, barley and maize, accounting for an average (combined) share of 27, 23 and 15 percent of global exports between 2016 and 2020, respectively.




Even the World Food Programme itself gets 50 percent of its grain supplies from the Ukraine-Russia area and is now facing dramatic cost increases in its efforts to combat food emergencies around the world.


“This is a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe,” WFP Director Beasley said, referring to the devastating effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on world hunger.


According to the UN organization, the number of people facing acute food insecurity had jumped from 135 million to 276 million since 2019 – and that’s not even taking the conflict in Ukraine into account.


In total, more than 800 million face hunger around the world, while 44 million people in 38 countries are teetering on the edge of famine, according to WFP.



ENDS



Published courtesy of Statista: https://www.statista.com/chart/27225/russian-and-ukrainian-share-of-global-crop-exports/


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