Ukraine war driving more people into poverty: World Bank  

Global hunger

HT team

October 5, 2022: The Ukraine war has changed patterns of trade, production and consumption of commodities, exacerbating food insecurity and inflation, according to an FAO-World Bank report.

The commodities’ prices will remain at high levels through 2024.

“High food prices have triggered a global crisis that is driving millions more into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition,” the report stated.

The number of people experiencing acute food insecurity is likely to climb to 222 million in 53 countries and territories.

As a result of the Ukraine war, trade-related policies imposed by countries have surged. 

“The global food crisis has been partially made worse by the growing number of food trade restrictions put in place by countries to increase domestic supply and reduce prices.”

Export bans

As of September 29, 2022, 20 countries have implemented 29 food export bans, and six have implemented 12 export-limiting measures.

Between May and August 2022, food price inflation has remained high. It rose in almost all low-income and middle-income countries.

The rate was higher in 88.2% of low-income nations, 91% of lower-middle-income countries, and 93% of upper-middle-income nations with inflation levels above 5%.

Average wheat, maize, and rice prices in September 2022 were 20%, 29%, and 8% higher, respectively than in September 2021. 

After a brief relief in the summer of 2022, fertilizer prices are beginning to rise again. In addition to increasing energy prices, policy measures such as export restrictions have limited global fertilizer availability.

$30 billion fund

To combat the ongoing food security crisis, the World Bank is disbursing $30 billion for 15 months to fund agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation projects.

Targetted nations include Bolivia, Chad, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Tunisia and Eastern and southern Africa.

In May, the World Bank Group and the G7 Presidency co-convened the Global Alliance for Food Security to catalyze an “immediate and concerted response” to the global hunger crisis.

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