2022 food crises

Global food price increase and shortage instigated by Russian invasion of Ukraine

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2022 saw a rapid increase in food prices and shortage of food supply around the world. The crises was created by compounding multiple geopolitical, economic and natural causes, such as extreme heat, flooding and drought caused by climate change. The crises follows a food security and economic crises during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Following the outbreak of the 2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine, the Food and Agriculture Organization as well as other observers of the food commodities markets warned of a collapse in food supply and increase in prices.[1][2][3][4][5] Much of the concern is related to supply shortages of key commodity crops, such as wheat, corn and oil seeds, and how shortages could create price increases.[6] Additionally, fuel and associated fertilizer price increases (because of Russia's significant role in gas and oil and both country's importance in European fertilizer markets), were causing additional shortfalls and price increases.[7]

Even before the War in Ukraine, food prices were already at record highs: as of February 2022, year over year food prices were up 20% according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.[8] The war further increased year over year prices to 40% in March.[9] The compounding issues created by COVID, the War and climate-related crop failures are expected to reverse global trends in reducing hunger and malnutrition.[10] Some regions, such as East Africa and Madagascar, were already experiencing drought and famine due to agricultural system failures and climate changes, and the price increases are expected to make those situations worse.[11][9] Even Global North countries that usually have secure food supplies, such as the UK and US, are beginning to experience direct impacts of cost inflations on the food insecure.[12] Some analysts described the price increases as the worst since the 2007–2008 world food price crisis.[9]

Background

The COVID 19 pandemic significantly disrupted food supply chains around the world, both disrupting distribution channels at the consumption and distribution stages of the food industry. Moreover, a rise prices for fuel and transport, further increased the complexity of distribution as food competed with other goods.

At the same time, significant 2021 floods and heatwaves destroyed key crops in North America, Latin America and Europe.[13]

Causes

Russian invasion of Ukraine

Wheat prices surged to their highest prices since 2008 in response to the 2022 attacks.[14] At the time of the invasion, Ukraine was the fourth-largest exporter of corn and wheat, and the world's largest exporter of sunflower oil, with Russia and Ukraine together responsible for 27% of the world's wheat exports and 53% of the world's sunflowers and seeds.[15] The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, warned in March that the war in Ukraine could take the global food crisis to "levels beyond anything we've seen before".[16] A potential disruption to global wheat supplies could exacerbate the ongoing hunger crisis in Yemen,[17] Afghanistan[18][19] and East Africa.[20] The American Bakers Association president warned that the price of anything made with grain would begin rising as all the grain markets are interrelated. The chief agricultural economist for Wells Fargo stated that Ukraine will likely be severely limited in their ability to plant crops in spring 2022 and lose an agricultural year, while an embargo on Russian crops would create more inflation of food prices. Recovering crop production capabilities may take years even after fighting has stopped.[21]

Surging wheat prices resulting from the conflict have strained African countries such as Egypt, which are highly dependent upon Russian and Ukrainian wheat exports, and have provoked fears of social unrest.[22] At least 25 African countries import a third of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, and 15 of them import more than half from those two countries.[23] On 24 February, the Chinese government announced that it would drop all restrictions on Russian wheat as part of an agreement that had been reached earlier in February;[24] the South China Morning Post called this a potential "lifeline" for the Russian economy.[25] On 4 March, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that the world Food Price Index reached an all-time high in February, posting a 24% year-over-year increase. Most of the data for the February report was compiled before the invasion, but analysts said a prolonged conflict could have a major impact on grain exports.[26][27]

On 30 March, at a United Nations meeting, the United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman stated that the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, including the naval blockade of Ukraine's sea ports and armed attacks on civilian cargo ships, created a critical food shortage in Ukraine, with worldwide ramifications.[28]

Climate crises

Multiple drought, heat and flooding events during 2020, 2021 and 2022 connected with climate change significantly hurt global food supplies and reserves further making the food system less resilient to shocks like the war in Ukraine. Global reserves of Wheat were extremely low at the beginning of 2022 because of these weather events.[29]

East African drought

A drought that began in 2021, further intensified in East Africa during 2022, precipitated in part by the oncoming La Niña in 2022.[30][31] Three rainy seasons failed in the horn of Africa region, destroying crops and killing large herds of livestock.[30] The UN identified 20 million people at risk of famine.[30] Both wildlife and livestock have been witnessed dying of the drought.[30] In part the region is vulnerable because an extreme wet season precipitated the 2019–2021 locust infestation which destroyed large regions of crops.[30]

By early October 2021, nearly a year after the Tigray War started, Mark Lowcock, who led OCHA during part of the Tigray War, stated that the Ethiopian federal government was deliberately starving Tigray, "running a sophisticated campaign to stop aid getting in" and that there was "not just an attempt to starve six million people but an attempt to cover up what's going on."[32]

North American Heatwave and drought
European extreme weather

Drought in Spain and Portugal during early 2022 led to losses predictions in some areas of 60-80% of crops.[33] Fruit crops in most of Europe were also damaged from a cold wave that caused freezing rain, frost and snow during early budding caused by unseasonably early warm weather.[34]

Southern Cone Heat Wave

A heatwave that deeply effected Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Southern Brazil caused yield decline of corn crops, soy and other key grains causing significant global commodity price increases.[35][36][37][38] The heatwave further exacerbated an already dry season in much of the region.[38]

Australian floods

A severe flood in New South Wales during February 2022 caused complete destruction of soy and rice crops and 36% of macadamia nut production.[39] Animal herds and farming infrastructure were also severely damaged.[40] It was the third major natural disaster to the agriculture communities in this region.[40]

Supply chain failures

In China, rolling lockdowns as part of the Zero-Covid policy significantly reduced key agricultural inputs for important grain crops.[41]

Effects by region

Europe

Europe's energy crisis caused by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine caused significant food price increases for European fertilizer and food industries.[42][43] According to Julia Meehan, the head of fertilizers for the commodity price agency ICIS, "We are seeing record prices for every fertiliser type, which are all way above the previous highs in 2008. It's very, very serious. People don't realise that 50% of the world's food relies on fertilisers."[44]

MENA and East Africa

Price increases for certain staples such as wheat were expected to most severely affect countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Somalia, which rely heavily on wheat imports from Ukraine and Russia.[9] This is expected tofurther hurt prices in regional food markets, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan.[9]

These changes of the food market caused by the Invasion of Ukraine, further exacerbated an already vulnerable Horn of Africa region experiencing drought.[30] In February, World Food Program and UNICEF were already projecting nutrition and hunger gaps for thirteen million people in East Africa.[45] By March, the UN had expanded that number to 20 million people.[46]

North America

North America was already experiencing significant shortfalls and supply chain issues connected to the 2020–22 North American drought and 2021–2022 global supply chain crisis.[9]

West Africa

Oxfam, ALIMA and Save the Children warned that the food crises in West Africa could affect 27 million people, especially in Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Nigeria .[47]

Responses

United States

The Biden Administration responded to the growing shortages in April, by trying to increase US farm production. The US policy community was worried about China or other countries filling the food gap. Obstruction in the US Congress prevented new funding and resources for the crises.[29] A group of 160 advocacy groups challenged funding cuts by the Biden administration and Congress to USDA programs.[48]

References

  1. ^ Business, Julia Horowitz, CNN. "War has brought the world to the brink of a food crisis". CNN. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  2. ^ Lynch, Colum. "U.N. to Keep Beasley at WFP as Food Crises Roil the World". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  3. ^ McDonough, Siobhan (2022-02-27). "What the Russian invasion of Ukraine could mean for global hunger". Vox. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  4. ^ Nicas, Jack (2022-03-20). "Ukraine War Threatens to Cause a Global Food Crisis". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  5. ^ Good, Keith (2022-03-21). ""Global Food Crisis" Possible- - "No Precedent Even Close to This Since World War II" • Farm Policy News". Farm Policy News. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  6. ^ McDonough, Siobhan (2022-02-27). "What the Russian invasion of Ukraine could mean for global hunger". Vox. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  7. ^ Good, Keith (2022-03-21). ""Global Food Crisis" Possible- - "No Precedent Even Close to This Since World War II" • Farm Policy News". Farm Policy News. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  8. ^ Reuters (2022-03-05). "Food prices jump 20.7% yr/yr to hit record high in Feb, U.N. agency says". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Braun, Phillip. "How The Russia-Ukraine War Has Compounded The Global Food Crisis". Forbes. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  10. ^ "Global food security: These are the main challenges to feeding the world – and how we can solve them". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  11. ^ Good, Keith (2022-03-21). ""Global Food Crisis" Possible- - "No Precedent Even Close to This Since World War II" • Farm Policy News". Farm Policy News. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  12. ^ Philpott, Tom. "As Russia's invasion roils supply chains, the world grows hungrier". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  13. ^ "A world of hurt: 2021 climate disasters raise alarm over food security". Mongabay Environmental News. 2021-08-04. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  14. ^ Swanson, Anna (24 February 2022). "Ukraine Invasion Threatens Global Wheat Supply". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Ukraine War to Compound Hunger, Poverty in Africa, Experts Say". VOA News. 19 March 2022. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  16. ^ Durisin, Megan; Elkin, Elizabeth; Parija, Pratik (9 March 2022). "The World's Next Food Emergency Is Here as War Compounds Hunger Crisis". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 13 March 2022. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Crisis in Ukraine Drives Food Prices Higher Around World". VOA News. 6 March 2022. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  18. ^ "UN food agency official alarmed by Afghan food, fuel prices". Associated Press. 18 March 2022. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  19. ^ "Afghanistan's Hungry Will Pay the Price for Putin's War". Foreign Policy. 1 April 2022. Archived from the original on 3 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  20. ^ "As many as 28 million people across East Africa at risk of extreme hunger if rains fail again". Oxfam. 22 March 2022. Archived from the original on 25 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Russia's invasion of Ukraine will likely ratchet American food prices even higher, experts say". The Washington Post. 26 February 2022. Archived from the original on 27 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  22. ^ "How tensions in Ukraine could rile Egypt". The Economist. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  23. ^ Yusuf, Mohammed (2022-03-19). "Ukraine War to Compound Hunger, Poverty in Africa, Experts Say". VOA. Archived from the original on 24 March 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-23.
  24. ^ "海关总署公告2022年第21号(关于允许俄罗斯全境小麦进口的公告) [General Administration of Customs Notification 21/2022]". General Administration of Customs. Archived from the original on 25 February 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  25. ^ Tang, Frank (24 February 2022). "China lifts all wheat-import restrictions on Russia amid Ukraine crisis". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 24 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  26. ^ "Food prices jump 24.1% yr/yr to hit record high in Feb, U.N. agency says". Reuters. 4 March 2022. Archived from the original on 6 March 2022. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Food Price Index hit record high in February, UN agency reports". UN News. 4 March 2022. Archived from the original on 6 March 2022. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  28. ^ "Putin has created a "global food crisis" with war in Ukraine, US deputy secretary of state says". CNN. 29 March 2022. Archived from the original on 30 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  29. ^ a b Lee, Meredith. "'We see the storm coming': U.S. struggles to contain a deepening global food crisis". POLITICO. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  30. ^ a b c d e f MULVANEY, KIERAN (2022-03-14). "Historic drought looms for 20 million living in Horn of Africa". National Geographic: Environment. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  31. ^ "Severe drought threatens 13 million with hunger in Horn of Africa". UN News. 2022-02-08. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  32. ^ Schifrin, Nick (6 October 2021). "Ethiopia's 'sophisticated campaign' to withhold food, fuel and other aid from Tigray". PBS. Archived from the original on 16 October 2021. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  33. ^ "Extreme winter drought devastates crops in Spain and Portugal". euronews. 2022-02-13. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  34. ^ "Late frost ices over French vineyards, threatens fruit crops". AP NEWS. 2022-04-04. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  35. ^ "GRAINS-Soybeans steady as South America rain chances assessed". Successful Farming. 2022-01-14. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  36. ^ by (2022-01-10). "La Niña puts record harvests at risk". California18. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  37. ^ Heath, Maximilian (2022-01-06). "Heatwave to hit Argentina, further stressing corn, soybean crops". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  38. ^ a b GRANT, DANIEL. "Argentine crops in 'grave danger;' Brazilian estimates fall". FarmWeek Now.
  39. ^ "'All of our crops are completely submerged': Total crop losses expected in northern NSW flood zone". ABC News. 2022-03-03. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  40. ^ a b "Floods and livestock losses leave NSW and Queensland farmers reeling from third disaster in three years". the Guardian. 2022-03-01. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  41. ^ Yu, Sun (2022-04-06). "China's zero-Covid policy risks causing agricultural crisis and food shortages". Financial Times. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  42. ^ "Energy crisis today – fertiliser and food crisis tomorrow?". Euractiv. 19 October 2021.
  43. ^ "'I'm afraid we're going to have a food crisis': The energy crunch has made fertilizer too expensive to produce, says Yara CEO". Fortune. 4 November 2021.
  44. ^ "Fears global energy crisis could lead to famine in vulnerable countries". The Guardian. 20 October 2021.
  45. ^ "East Africa's Growing Food Crisis: What to Know". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  46. ^ "Historic drought looms for 20 million living in Horn of Africa". Environment. 2022-03-14. Retrieved 2022-04-05.
  47. ^ "Oxfam, others: West Africa facing worst food crisis in a decade". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
  48. ^ "As Global Food Crisis Looms, Groups Blast Proposed $1.65 Billion USDA Cut". Common Dreams. Retrieved 2022-04-07.
Original content from Wikipedia, shared with licence Creative Commons By-Sa - 2022 food crises