Experts warn of social unrest due to war in Ukraine
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned earlier this month that global food prices will likely rise further in the future due to the war in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia and Belarus, and climate issues.
Experts warned that rising food prices caused by the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow could spark social unrest in a number of countries around the world.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Russia and Ukraine were among the top global exporters of various staple foods in 2021, including wheat and corn. Russia is also a leading exporter of nitrogen fertilizers, the second largest supplier of potassium fertilizers, and the third-largest supplier of phosphorous fertilizers.
Ukraine's food production is threatened by factors such as logistics disruption, loss of agricultural land access, labor shortages, crop damage due to hostilities, and the destruction of food system assets and infrastructure, according to the organization.
Meanwhile, Western sanctions on Russia have harmed the country's agricultural exports, prompting Moscow to freeze fertilizer exports.
As a result, global food prices reached their highest level ever in March, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned earlier this month that global food prices will likely rise further in the future due to the Ukraine conflict, sanctions against Russia, and Belarus, and climate issues.
This poses significant problems for many African, Middle Eastern, and East Asian countries that rely on food imports from Russia and Ukraine, as some of them are already in precarious social and political situations that could be exacerbated by potential food shortages.
A number of international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Nations World Food Program, and the World Trade Organization, have issued warnings about the need to take immediate action to ensure food security in the face of Ukraine's conflict. Nonetheless, experts predict that countries will choose to protect themselves, exacerbating the situation.