Food Crisis Part 1: Growing Concerns over Food Supply from Ukraine

Due to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the world expects a food crisis and an increased instability.

Russia and Ukraine combined have supplied more than a quarter of the world’s grain. Due to the fact that Russia attacked Ukraine and started a full-scale war, this year the world may experience a significant shortage and a rise in prices for wheat, bakery and flour products. This will lead to a growing instability in the world.

World food prices already have been at near-historic highs since the two-year rise by about 40 percent during the global pandemic. The war in Ukraine will significantly worsen this situation.

Thus, on March 4, prices for wheat futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange almost doubled compared to mid-February. Traditionally, wheat and flour products arefarticularly important for people in the poorest countries. Even if the current panic in the commodities markets passes, economic experts predict that the prices may rise eventually anyway by an additional 30-40 percent according to the most conservative estimates. Along with inflation caused by rising oil prices following sanctions against Russia, high grain prices could lead to significant increases in instability in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nigeria and Yemen.

World food prices already have been at near-historic highs since the two-year rise by about 40% during the global pandemic. The war in Ukraine will significantly worsen this situation.

Rising food prices may trigger unrest and global violence. High food prices have historically been linked to waves of unrest due to the complicated interaction of food riots and existing social tensions. In 2021, food riots broke out in South Africa, Colombia, Nigeria, Sudan, Brazil and many other countries.

Thus, in addition to the huge number of casualties in Ukraine, Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine will lead to famine, suffering, instability and additional tens if not hundreds of thousands of deaths in developing countries. Only one side will be responsible for all of this – and that is Russia.

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