global food crisis
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia last year created chaos in agricultural commodity markets, causing food prices to skyrocket. Although prices have come down from their peak in early 2022, they remain higher than average, especially for vulnerable countries. With the war in Ukraine continuing, over a billion people in fragile and conflict-affected states remain at risk of food insecurity.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, food prices have declined for eleven consecutive months, but they are still 19% higher than last March. Vegetable oils, dairy, and cereals have seen the largest decline in prices, while sugar and meat prices have remained stable since early last year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other institutions have called for governments and donors to provide support to vulnerable countries, facilitate trade, and eliminate harmful subsidies.
The heads of the FAO, IMF, World Bank, World Food Programme, and World Trade Organization issued a joint statement in February, highlighting the need for more action to prevent a prolonged crisis. The IMF’s new Food Shock Window has provided support to countries such as Guinea, Haiti, Malawi, South Sudan, and Ukraine. Additionally, the IMF has provided financial assistance to nine countries facing acute food insecurity to strengthen social safety nets and address the impact of the food crisis.