World Hunger to Worsen After Spiking 25% Before Ukraine War

TLast year saw an increase of 25% in hunger, with food costs rising due to wars like the one in Ukraine.

Conflicts between countries such as Ethiopia and Afghanistan are causing crises. Economic shocks from Covid-19 have also reduced food access in nearly two dozen nations. This problem is also being exacerbated due to extreme weather such as severe droughts in Madagascar.

In a report, almost 193million people from 53 countries and territories were affected by acute food insecurity. They had no access to adequate meals, which meant that their existence was at risk. That’s up from 155 million in 55 countries for the prior year, and a record in the six years since the report began. The outlook is expected to “deteriorate further” this year.

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“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,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the report.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain and vegetable-oil suppliers and the war is disrupting its harvests and exports. A gauge of world food prices has soared to a record—eclipsing levels seen in 2008 and 2011 that contributed to global food crises—piling pressure on governments from Sri Lanka to Peru. That’s helping to spark a wave of protectionism as some exporters curb overseas crop sales to ensure local supplies.

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The war will have “severe consequences” on global food security, as millions of Ukrainians are displaced and many import-dependent countries can’t get staple crops or fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia, according to the report. Global economic recovery is being hampered by the war.

The food crisis is already getting worse, according to early reports. About 180 million will be facing hunger in 41 of 42 countries that were surveyed last year. This includes Cabo Verde. While there’s no forecast yet for the remaining 12 nations, it represents an additional 5 million hungry people across the countries where there are already projections.

The food crises network was founded by the European Union, World Food Programme and UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 2016.

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