On July 22, Ukraine and Russia reached an agreement to allow exports of grain and other agricultural products to resume from selected Ukraine Black Sea ports after months of Russian blockade. The agreement comes at a time when storage capacity is reaching its limits, with the much of the 2022 wheat harvest and the approximately 20 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds harvested in 2021 remaining in storage—unable to ship because of the blockade.
Policy seminars: As global food prices rise, important new data addresses the affordability of healthy diets
High food price inflation—driven by disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate shocks, and the war in Ukraine—has made the affordability of food and food insecurity top global concerns. Even before the current rise in prices, 3.1 billion people, about 40% of the global population, could not afford a healthy diet, according to the United Nation’s 2022 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report.
The Group of Seven wealthy nations (G7), currently led by the German presidency, has put a welcome focus on the global food insecurity and nutrition crisis unleashed by the war in Ukraine, with the most severe impacts falling on vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The two May G7 meetings produced four separate communiqués, each of them dozens of pages long (the development ministers communiqué alone was 23 pages!) and a G7-led Global Alliance for Food Security was announced.
IFPRI Global Food Policy Report 2022: Accelerating food systems transformation to combat climate change
In 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sounded the alarm on a looming crisis: Climate change is generating a “code red for humanity” that requires urgent action. Food systems are deeply entwined with this crisis. In many regions, especially in the developing world, climate change has already started to reduce agricultural productivity and disrupt supply chains, putting pressure on livelihoods and threatening to significantly increase hunger and malnutrition, making adaptation efforts crucially important.
One of the world’s worst economic collapses, now compounded by the Ukraine crisis: What’s next for Lebanon?
High food prices and supply disruptions triggered by the Ukraine war are hitting Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries like Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen hard, partly due their heavy dependence on wheat imports. But in the region, Lebanon—already in the midst of one of the world’s worst economic collapses since the 1850s—is uniquely vulnerable to food security impacts from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
A recent World Bank report calls Lebanon’s current crisis “The Great Denial”—referring to an ongoing breakdown of government services, civil society, and the economy.