World hunger expected to rise as food prices increase amid Russia-Ukraine war

World hunger expected to rise as food prices increase amid Russia-Ukraine war
A nurse keeps 7 month old Rohingya refugee Robi Alam warm before he is weighted at the Action Against Hunger centre where the boy is treated for severe malnutrition at Kutupalong camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

A recent UN report shows world hunger spiked 25% in 2021, and the figure is rising with the Russian invasion of Ukraine sending food prices soaring across the globe. With Ukraine being one of the top grain and vegetable oil suppliers, import-dependent countries are struggling to get ahold of staple crops. On top of that, other big exporters (like Indonesia) have imposed export curbs to secure local supply.

And to make matters worse, conflicts like the one between Ethiopia and Afghanistan, pandemic-related economic downfalls and natural disasters have also caused a landslide in the global hunger crisis.

Nearly 193 million people are already suffering from food instabilities, and that number is expected to rise this year.

Key comments:

“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,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the report.

“With food occupying a significant share of the basket of consumer goods prices in many economies across the [Asia Pacific] region, this will push up overall consumer price inflation, and potentially hurt consumption,” said Bernard Aw and Eve Barre, global insurer Coface economists.