Overcoming the threats to global food systems from Russia's invasion of Ukraine

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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shocked the world, leading to terrible suffering, and harsh impacts are already being felt beyond the conflict zone. The war has the potential to spark a global food security crisis, driven by two factors: Skyrocketing costs of food for consumers and of fertilizers for producers. This crisis demands an immediate global response to provide relief in the short term, as well as policy changes to diversify the world’s food markets over the long term to build resilience and avoid future crises.

Commodity prices were rising steadily before the invasion, according to the FAO Food Price Index, which hit an all-time high in February, before the full impacts of the invasion could be felt. Prices of cereals and vegetable oils are reaching levels higher than the 2008/9 global food price crisis (see Figure 1).

Photo credit: J. Brooke/VOA

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