Food Price Inflation Escalates Global Hunger Crisis

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Global food price inflation continues to soar, causing significant concern about the escalation of food insecurity across the world. As much as 78.6 percent of high-income nations are experiencing high food price inflation. African countries, North and Latin American nations, South Asia, Europe, and Central Asia are among the hardest hit.

Agricultural indices show a rise in the prices of essential crops such as maize, wheat, and rice over the past two weeks. Despite year-on-year reductions for maize and wheat of 22 percent and 41 percent respectively, their prices are still elevated, according to data by the World Bank. In contrast, rice prices are 14 percent higher compared to the previous year.

There exists a high probability of an El Niño pattern developing, affecting global agricultural production. This weather pattern could lead to average to above-average rainfall in some regions, creating favorable conditions for soybean production but potentially harming maize, rice, and wheat yields.

The Global Report on Food Crises 2023, from the Global Network Against Food Crises, alarmingly notes an increase in acute food insecurity from 192.8 million people in 2021 to 257.8 million in 2022. Key causes include conflicts, economic shocks, and weather extremes, with conflict and insecurity being primary drivers.


Specifically, in Sudan, some reports say that around 41 percent of the population, or 19 million people, struggle to find a daily meal, a number up from 15 million last year. The ongoing violence in Sudan is likely to further exacerbate regional food insecurity.

Foto-ilustracija: Pixabay

Meanwhile, the war in Eastern Europe has spurred countries to implement food trade restrictions in an attempt to increase domestic supplies and control prices, worsening the global food crisis. As of mid-March 2023, 21 countries have implemented food export bans, while 10 countries have put in place measures limiting food exports.

In response, the World Bank launched a comprehensive global action plan to tackle the crisis, committing $30 billion to boost food and nutrition security, reduce risks, and strengthen food systems. Numerous projects have been initiated, notably in West Africa, Yemen, Tajikistan, Jordan, Bolivia, Chad, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Egypt, Tunisia, and regions in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The heads of key global institutions issued a joint statement in February 2023 calling for urgent actions to prevent a worsening of the food and nutrition security crisis. Urgent interventions must be balanced with longer-term resilience efforts to adequately address this pressing global challenge.

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