Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 201

Why the world is tipping towards mass hunger

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 25 Maggio 2022

People have become familiar with the idea of a cost-of-living crisis, but that does not begin to capture the gravity of what may lie ahead. The war in Ukraine is battering a global food system weakened by covid-19, climate change and an energy shock. Ukraine’s exports of grain and oilseeds have mostly stopped and Russia’s are threatened. Wheat prices, up 53% since the start of the year, jumped a further 6% on May 16th, after India said it would suspend exports because of a heatwave.Together, Russia and Ukraine provide 28% of the globally traded supply of wheat, 29% of barley, 15% of maize and 75% of sunflower oil (see Briefing). Ukraine’s food exports normally feed 400m people worldwide. The high cost of staple foods has already raised the number of people who cannot be sure of getting enough to eat by 440m, to 1.6bn. Nearly 250m are on the brink of famine. If, as is likely, the war drags on and supplies from Russia and Ukraine are limited, hundreds of millions more people could fall into poverty. Political unrest will spread, children will be stunted and some people will starve. Mr Putin must not use food as a weapon. Shortages are not the inevitable outcome of war. States need to act together, starting by keeping markets open. World leaders should see hunger as a global problem urgently requiring a global solution. By Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist

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