Blog Post

Urgent Call for Global Action as Food Prices Continue to Rise

Last week, the heads of the World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, United Nations World Food Program, and World Trade Organization issued a joint statement calling for urgent global action on food security in response to skyrocketing global food prices.

The statement comes as countries around the world continue to grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine crisis, climate change, rising fuel and fertilizer costs, and economic slowdowns. These crises have combined to create shortages in staple food commodities, disrupt global and local food supply chains, and drive food prices up sharply.

The statement reports that for each one percentage point increase in global food prices, an additional 10 million people fall into extreme poverty. The brunt of these impacts will fall on middle- and low-income countries, particularly those most reliant on food imports.

FEWS Net’s latest Food Assistance Outlook report echoes the need for urgent action on food aid, with 29 countries expected to need external food assistance between April and October 2022. Of those, 19 countries are expected to be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or 4 (Emergency) food insecurity by October. The regions most in need are Africa south of the Sahara, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The joint statement concludes with a strong call to action for the international community to step up coordinated support, including provision of emergency food supplies, financing of social safety nets and support for small farmers, and maintaining open trade policies.

The Food Security Portal contains several tools for tracking and analyzing global and local food price trends, including the Excessive Food Price Variability Early Warning System and the new Price Shocks Tool. The latter tool allows users to explore the impact of food price shocks, such as those being driven by conflict and climate change around the world, on household poverty in five countries. The Portal’s Food Export Restrictions Tracker analyzes the impact of food and fuel export restrictions on countries’ imported calories and allows users to compare the current situation with the 2007-2008 food price crisis.