How the war in Ukraine will impact food security for the world: Food and Land Use Coalition on the global food price crisis & Ukraine
By Morgan Gillespy, Global Director, Food and Land Use Coalition
Thursday 10, March 2022
The Food and Land Use Coalition shares the world’s grave concern with respect to the conflict in Ukraine and for the people in the region. The war is exacerbating what was already an acute crisis in the global food system. Russia and Ukraine supply a quarter of the world’s wheat exports and are some of the biggest producers in agriculture and food globally. As a result of the conflict, we have already seen wheat prices rise to a 14-year high. Russia produces enormous amounts of nutrients, such as potash and phosphate – key ingredients in fertilizers, which enable plants and crops to grow.
The crisis is expected to result in a sharp rise in the number of people in the world going hungry, while surging food prices already affect billions. These consequences are particularly acute for low-income countries reliant on food imports, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, many of which have already seen an increase in malnutrition rates over recent years in the face of disruptions from the pandemic. To compound the issue, the most recent IPCC report describes how the fast-changing climate is set to cause major further disruptions and vulnerability to the global food system. The IPCC report provides compelling evidence for the urgent need to pursue transformative adaptation and resilience, as well as urgent measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from food systems and land use.
The Food and Land Use Coalition, in addition to adding its voice to calls for an end to conflict in Ukraine, will continue its efforts, through its nine global partners and five country platforms, to alleviate hunger and food and nutrition insecurity. We will continue to make the case for open flows of trade at national, regional and global levels. We will continue to make the case for the world’s farmers to be at the heart of the transition to a better future.
The current quartet of interlocking crises – conflict, Covid, climate, and cost – makes us reflect on the root causes of the failure of the global food system to deliver for the needs of present and future generations – as well as for the natural world upon which we all depend. And so, amid crisis and untold suffering, we will continue our efforts to chart a hopeful pathway to a fairer, more sustainable, and more resilient global food system. The urgent case for that system has been heightened by the war in Ukraine and the latest climate science.