War is causing a severe cost of living crisis that no country can escape: UN

Food imports are expected to reach $1.81 trillion this year, surpassing the all-time high reached last year by $51 billion, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said in a report on Thursday. Almost all of this is due to inflation, which aggravates the cost of living crisis in developed countries and aggravates hunger in poorer countries.

An FAO food price index hit a record high earlier this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine slashed shipments from one of the world’s biggest suppliers of vegetable oils and grains. Soaring energy and fertilizer prices are also making it increasingly expensive to produce crops and livestock. This has raised concerns about global hunger, and the report shows that soaring food prices are already weighing on vulnerable areas.

The report showed a growing schism in the diets of rich and poor countries due to soaring prices.

Developed countries continue to bring in all varieties of food, while emerging regions are expected to increasingly shift away from high-value products like meat, oilseeds and beverages to focus on staples, reducing thus the diversity and quality of diets, he said.

“The greatest cost-of-living crisis of the 21st century has come when people and countries have limited capacity to cope,” said the second report of the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and finance on the conflict in Ukraine.

“These are alarming signs from a food security perspective that importers will struggle to finance rising international costs,” the report said. “The message of today’s report is clear and insistent: we must act now to save lives and livelihoods over the coming months and years,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement. tweet.

Most of the nearly 3% rise in the global import bill is due to rising costs, not the world buying more food, the FAO said.

Least developed countries’ food purchases will fall by $2.4 billion this year, the report said.

Ukrainian forces on Thursday claimed they advanced into intense street fighting in the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk, but said their only hope of turning the tide was more artillery to offset Russia’s massive firepower.

In the south, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it captured new ground in a counterattack in Kherson province, targeting most of the territory Russia has seized since its invasion in February.

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