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Home/UN calls for 'transformation' of agriculture
food-crisis

UN calls for 'transformation' of agriculture

According to the Global Report on Food Crisis released earlier this month, in 2021 193 million people were acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance across 53 countries

The UN has called for a 'transformation' of agriculture to make it more resilient to shocks amid fears the Ukraine war could soon cause a global food crisis.

The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Qu Dongyu, made the urgent call at a UN meeting in New York on Wednesday.

Together, Russia and Ukraine produce 30 percent of the global wheat supply, and Ukraine in particular is seen as the world's bread basket.

But since the start of Russia's invasion in February, exports have collapsed and prices have surged. This led India to recently ban its own wheat exports.

This crisis, along with the pandemic and the effects of climate change, have increased people’s vulnerability and pushed hundreds of millions of more people to the brink of hunger, Dongyu said.

According to the Global Report on Food Crisis released earlier this month, in 2021 193 million people were acutely food insecure and in need of urgent assistance across 53 countries.

Malnutrition rates have also increased, with millions of children suffering from stunting or wasting whereas a healthy diet is out of reach for 3 billion people.

Moreover, the budgets of governments and consumers have been squeezed tighter and countries’ income per capita has shrunk, creating a cumulative loss to the global economy of more than $12 trillion over 2020-21, Dongyu said.

Noting that in March 2022 the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest level since its inception in 1990, he warned about the 'cascading impact' of the war in Ukraine that could further exacerbate global food prices.

Additionally, Russia is one of the top exporters in the world of fertilisers, he added, pointing out that the next planting season of countries which are import dependent on Russia could be at risk.