Subject Ensuring global food security during a crisisQU Dongyu, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOThe Director-General told the agriculture ministers of the rich G7 countries, gathered in Stuttgart, Germany, that the most serious threats come from conflicts and their associated humanitarian consequences, as well as multiple overlapping crises.
To my address #G7 The Ministers of Agriculture stressed the need to support the continuity of agricultural and agri-food chains in Ukraine. I commended the group for its coordinated and timely action. We must ensure that measures taken to address the crisis do not exacerbate food insecurity. https://t.co/JCPfv7LIzG
— FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu (@FAODG) May 13, 2022
“The crisis poses a challenge to food security for many countries, and especially for low-income countries dependent on food imports and vulnerable populations,” he said. said.
Based Report on global food crises released on May 4, last year, about 193 million people in 53 countries/territories were officially in crisis or worse (IPC/CH phase 3 or higher).
Other data for 2021 showed that 570,000 people in four countries were in the disaster phase category (IPC/CH phase 5).
Just over 39 million people in 36 countries are affected by emergencies (IPC/CH Phase 4); while just over 133 million people in 41 countries were in stage 3 ICF/SN. A total of 236.2 million people in 41 countries were living in Phase 2.
“Rising prices always have implications for food security, especially for the poorest,” Mr. Qu recalled.
Emergency and Recovery
On top of the already “high prices driven by robust demand and high production costs”, as a result of COVID-19 recovery, the head of the FAO noted Ukraine and Russia as important players in the world commodity markets, explaining that the uncertainty around the war caused a further rise in prices.
In particular, prices for wheat, corn and oilseeds rose.
At 160 points FAO Food Price Index hit its all-time high in March, averaging 158.2 points in April, and remains at its all-time high today.
Mr Qu said that FAO’s proposed Food Import Financing Mechanism will be an important tool to alleviate the burden of the rising cost of food imports and inputs, which could benefit 1.8 billion people in the 61 most vulnerable countries.
Price increases always have implications for food security – head of FAO
Since the conflict began in February, export forecasts for Ukraine and Russia have been revised down as other market participants, especially India and the European Union, increased exports.
“This partially offset the ‘loss’ of exports from the Black Sea region, leaving a relatively modest gap of about three million tons,” the FAO chief said.
He noted that export prices for wheat rose in March, continued to rise in April and are likely to “remain high in the coming months.”
He also urged governments to “refrain from imposing export restrictions that could exacerbate rising food prices and undermine confidence in world markets.”
Dependence on wheat
Turkey, Egypt, Eritrea, Somalia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Congo, Namibia and other countries dependent on Ukraine and Russia for wheat have been hit hard.
Mr. Qu said those states needed to identify new suppliers, “which could be a major problem for at least the next six months.”
Dependence on fertilizers
At the same time – with levels ranging from 20 to over 70 percent – Brazil, Argentina, Bangladesh and other countries depend on Russian fertilizers for their crops.
While Africa as a whole accounts for only three to four percent of global fertilizer consumption, Cameroon, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are among the most vulnerable countries heavily dependent on supplies from Russia.
“We need to ensure that key food-exporting countries have access to the fertilizer they need to provide enough food next year,” a senior FAO official said, urging all countries to improve fertilizer efficiency, including through soil mapping and improved application .
Help to Ukraine
To support farmers’ access to crops and livestock in the short to medium term, FAO has developed Rapid Response Plan for Ukrainewhich describes three key actions.
The first is to support food production with cash and resources to grow crops in October, produce vegetables and potatoes in the spring, and support harvesting in July and August for the upcoming winter harvest.
Second, the plan advocates strengthening agri-food supply chains, value chains and markets through public-private partnerships that provide technical support at the household and smallholder levels.
Finally, it highlights the importance of providing an accurate analysis of food security conditions and needs as they develop.
Coordination is indispensable
“Coordinated action for Ukraine within this group is essential to ensure the smooth functioning of global food markets and thus ensure food for all,” said the Director General.
“FAO emphasizes the need to maintain the continuity of agricultural activity in Ukraine; supporting agri-food value chains.”