28 October 2022, Ukraine: A special report from SciDev.Net suggests that global starvation is looming for millions as food prices spiral out of control.
Fiona Broom, Deputy Editor, Features, looks at how food systems can become more resilient to shocks – such as conflict, climate change and COVID-19 – as the world faces its third major food crisis this century.
Shortages of fertilizer – caused largely by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – are exacerbating the availability of food stuffs due to lower than normal yields of staple crops.
The article includes additional reporting from SciDev.Net’s Global Desk staff; Bothina Osama, Zoraida Patillo, Aleida Rueda, Didier Ladislas Lando and Joel Adriano.
Increases in the cost of food are expected to continue into 2023, food analysts warn and sustainable solutions are needed to end the ongoing cycle of global food crisis – being felt most acutely by those living in developing countries around the world.
The article highlights that: “The world’s most vulnerable communities are experiencing some of the highest food prices this century, and this trend is expected to continue into 2023. Families are being forced to reduce their diets as food price inflation hits household budgets.”
The reporting also identifies a starting gender disparity regarding levels of nutrition experienced by those most at risk from rising food prices.
In 2021, for example, at least 150 million more women than men experienced food insecurity and this gap is growing, according to analysis by the humanitarian organisation CARE.
Ms Broom said, “We gathered food price data at markets, supermarkets and independent stores and recorded major spikes in everyday staples.
“When compared against median annual salaries, the cost of a basket of food makes alarming reading.
“The article looks ahead to predictions of an ongoing crisis in 2023, examines the causes of repeated global food crises and floats some potential policy solutions.”
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