Sara Menker, chief executive of agricultural analyst Gro Intelligence, told the UN Security Council on May 19 that the Russian-Ukrainian war “just added fuel to an already scorching (crisis) fire,” she said. The main reason for the shortage of wheat. Ukraine and Russia together produce about one-third of the world‘s total.
“I want to start by saying clearly that the Russian-Ukrainian war did not create a food security crisis. It just added fuel to a long-burning fire. We were monitoring the fragility of the supply chain long before the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of the supply chain. The shock of a crisis,” Menke said in a note.
“I share these (views) because we think the key is for everyone to understand that even if the war ends tomorrow, without concerted action, our food security will not be resolved anytime soon.” She Say.
Menke said the number of people facing “food insecurity” globally has risen by 400 million this year due to higher prices for major crops. It added that in the case of wheat, the world‘s stocks are “only enough for 10 weeks at the moment”.
“The situation today is worse than it was in 2007 and 2008,” she said. “It’s important to note that global grain inventories are at record low levels, fertilizer supplies are very tight, and the world‘s wheat-producing regions are back on track. In the worst drought in more than two decades. Similar stock issues are seen with corn and other grains. Government estimates are questionable.”
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused Russia of blocking Ukrainian wheat exports, which Russia flatly denies. Blinken claimed that Moscow was using wheat as a weapon of war.
“The Russian government seems to think that the use of grain as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion left unfinished … breaking the spirit of the Ukrainians,” he said.
However, Menke noted that droughts around the world are causing shortages of wheat, fuelled by fertilizer shortages and other weather issues.
David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, said the world was now facing an “unprecedented crisis”, noting that 49 million people in 43 countries were “knocking on the door of famine”. He pointed out that with the famine came political unrest.
“As we speak, we have seen riots and protests happening – Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru,” he said. “We have seen it in Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad in the Sahel. Unstable dynamics. These are just symptoms of what’s to come.”
Responsible editor: Li Muen#