5 countries hit hard by the grain crisis in Ukraine (Washington Post)
- Impact Area
Washington Post published an article stating that Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports and the ripple effects of Western sanctions on Moscow have driven up global food prices, raised fears of looming grain shortages, and exacerbated concerns about rising hunger around the world. According to IFPRI, Ukraine and Russia produce about a third of the wheat traded in global markets, and about a quarter of the world’s barley. Exports from the two countries — which also include sunflower oil and corn to feed livestock — account for about 12 percent of total calories traded in the world. Not only are countries dealing with the impacts of the war between Ukraine and Russia, but many countries in Africa are in the midst of their worst drought in four decades. The World Food Program warned that 20 million people in the region could go hungry because of drought by the end of the year. Senior research fellow David Laborde said that because of the “very severe climactic conditions,” countries in the Horn of Africa needed to import more food than usual this year. Somalia relies on Russia and Ukraine for more than 90 percent of its wheat imports. Famine isn’t a concern in Egypt, Laborde said. Instead, worries revolve around the cost for the government to “maintain their social safety net programs and to avoid some kind of political instability.” Still, for some people in countries vulnerable to famine and mired in conflict, the effects of the war in Ukraine could make the difference between life and death. “You can survive up to the point where you cannot,” Laborde said.