“The conflict in Ukraine continues to cause a terrible toll of death, destruction, displacement and misery for the Ukrainian people, with thousands of civilians reported to have been killed, and more than 14 million people – well over a quarter of the entire population – forced to flee from their homes,” the statement notes. “In addition, the impacts of this war are being felt far beyond the borders of Ukraine or the European region, producing a downward spiral effect on a global economy already battered by COVID-19 and the climate crisis.”
The statement points out that, together, Russia and Ukraine supply 12% of traded calories globally.
“Over 30 countries depend on them for at least 30% of their wheat supply, and almost 40% of total African wheat imports come from Russia and Ukraine,” reads the statement. “The war is seriously exacerbating a pre-existing global food crisis resulting from climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts elsewhere, as well as underlining the fragility of corporate-dominated food systems.”
Ukraine’s exports of grain and oilseeds have almost ceased, and those from Russia are greatly impeded, the statement further notes. “Food prices are currently at their highest since records began 60 years ago, worsening hunger in many of the world's poorest and most vulnerable regions,” the statement reads. “The number of people facing acute food insecurity has more than doubled - from 135 million to 276 million - since 2019.”
A total of 44 million people in 38 countries are teetering on the edge of famine, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine threatens to push them over the edge, the statement underscores.
“Moreover, the increased prices of basic commodities compounded by the impacts of the conflict in Ukraine are generating social and political instability in several countries around the world,” the text reads.