With the world already reeling from the high food prices and other economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak of conflict in Ukraine in February 2022 again raised the specter of a major global food security crisis. Since that time, analysis of the extant and potential future impacts of the conflict on food and fuel prices, trade, food security, and poverty has been a primary focus for policymakers, researchers, and development professionals around the world.
The number of people facing hunger around the world has increased by more than 122 million from 2019, according to the newly released annual State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, , a joint publication by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNICEF, World Food Programme, and World Health Organization (WHO).
Commodity prices continued to fall in June, according to the FAO Food Price Index, which declined 1.4 percent from its May level. This reflects at 23.4 percent drop from June 2022.
The world reached a stark milestone in 2022, with over a quarter of a billion people in 58 countries/territories experiencing acute food insecurity (defined as IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher), according to the 2023 Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC). This number represents the fourth consecutive year of increasing food insecurity rates and the highest level seen in the seven-year publication history of the report. An additional 253 million people in 41 countries/territories experienced lower levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2 (Stressed)).
Regional war, global consequences: Mounting damages to Ukraine’s agriculture and growing challenges for global food security
Russia’s all-out war on Ukraine has inflicted devastating impacts that continue to mount more than a year after the invasion. As of September 2022, even before Russia’s winter bombing campaign, the total damage to Ukraine’s infrastructure was an estimated $127 billion, equal to 64% of the country’s 2021 GDP. More than 14 million Ukrainians have left their homes, including more than 8 million refugees.