World hunger to worsen after soaring 25% before war in Ukraine

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Jhe number of hungry people rose by 25% last year and the toll is rising as the war in Ukraine drives up food prices.

Conflicts in countries like Ethiopia and Afghanistan have deepened crises there, and economic shocks from the Covid-19 pandemic have curtailed access to food in nearly two dozen countries, the Network said. world against food crises. Extreme weather conditions, such as a severe drought in Madagascar, also exacerbate the problem.

Nearly 193 million people in 53 countries or territories suffered from acute food insecurity in 2021, meaning their lack of meals posed an immediate threat to their lives or livelihoods, the international alliance said in a statement. report. This represents an increase from 155 million in 55 countries the previous year, and a record in the six years since the start of the report. The outlook is expected to “deteriorate further” this year.

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“The war in Ukraine is fueling a three-dimensional crisis – food, energy and finance – with devastating effects on the world’s most vulnerable people, countries and economies,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in the statement. report.

Ukraine is one of the world’s main suppliers of cereals and vegetable oil and the war is disrupting its harvests and exports. A gauge of global food prices has hit a record high, eclipsing levels seen in 2008 and 2011 that contributed to global food crises, putting pressure on governments from Sri Lanka to Peru. This is helping to spark a wave of protectionism as some exporters curb overseas crop sales to ensure local supply.

Read more: How a post-war famine in Russia and Ukraine shaped the 20th century

The war will have “serious consequences” for global food security as millions of Ukrainians are displaced and many import-dependent countries cannot obtain staple crops or fertilizers from Ukraine and Russia, according to the report. The war is also hampering global economic recovery from the pandemic.

Early data already indicates that the food crisis is getting worse. The number of hungry people this year will reach around 180 million in 41 of the countries surveyed last year, plus Cabo Verde. Although there are no projections yet for the remaining 12 countries, this represents an additional 5 million people suffering from hunger in countries where there are already projections.

The Food Crises Network was founded by the European Union, the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2016.

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