The United Nations recently revealed in its latest report that the unfavourable repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine war such as increased food prices might force over 20 million more people into severe poverty this year. According to “The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022”, 656.7 million people would be living on less than $1.90 per day worldwide in 2022. However, increasing food costs and the broader consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine might increase that figure to 676.5 million, Kyodo News reported.
Furthermore, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated in the report that the conflict in Ukraine has “caused food, fuel, and fertiliser prices to skyrocket”. Additionally, the UN chief claimed that it would also disrupt “supply chains and global trade and cause distress in financial markets.”
According to the Kyodo News report, even though the projection is still below 684.2 million in 2021, the Russian invasion, which commenced in late February, would put the globe “even further from meeting the target of ending extreme poverty by 2030”, one of the 17 SDGs.
50 countries import nearly 30% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine: UN Report
The UN report further highlighted the fact that worries over food security have increased recently, particularly in countries like Africa and the Middle East that are heavily reliant on grain from Ukraine, a significant producer. As per the report, at least 50 countries import nearly 30% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Notably, Ukrainian and Russian wheat makes up more than half of the wheat consumed in several African and least developed nations.
Due to the war, a staggering 100 million people are believed to have been forcefully uprooted from their houses as of May, with nearly 6.5 million of them fleeing Ukraine, according to the report.
Japan, the United States, and other Group of Seven nations have chastised Russia for obstructing the Black Sea ports of Ukraine and damaging its agricultural infrastructure, which has prevented products from being exported globally. Meanwhile, Russia, a major exporter of grains and one of the world’s top producers of crude oil, has attributed food shortages and soaring food and energy costs on G-7-led economic sanctions against Moscow.
Meanwhile, on August 1, UN chief Guterres lauded the departure of the first grain ship from the Ukrainian port of Odesa. He further called the act “a collective success of the Joint Coordination Centre”, as per media reports. Taking to Twitter, a UN spokesperson said on August 1, “@antonioguterres warmly welcomes the departure of the M/V Razoni, the first commercial ship leaving Ukraine’s port of Odesa since 26 February 2022. (sic)”