The world is heading for a “catastrophic” global food crisis as a result of the war in Ukraine, which will cause “hell on earth” for food prices, according to experts.
“Half the world’s population gets food as a result of fertilisers… and if that’s removed from the field for some crops, (the yield) will drop by 50%,” Svein Tore Holsether, head of agri company Yara International, told the BBC.
Known as “the breadbasket of Europe,” Russia and Ukraine export around a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, such as seeds and oil.
“For me, it’s not whether we are moving into a global food crisis – it’s how large the crisis will be,” said Holsether, noting that increasing gas prices were causing a steep rise in the cost of fertiliser.
David Beasley, the head of the World Food Programme, was if anything even more pessimistic with his comments.
“Just when you think hell on earth can’t get any worse, it does,” he said.
The bullets and bombs in #Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to catastrophic levels. Supply chains and food prices will be dramatically impacted. @WFP‘s operational costs alone will rise by $60-75 million per month.
Simply put, higher costs = less food and more hunger. pic.twitter.com/XBHmPFKpAb
— David Beasley (@WFPChief) March 8, 2022
Noting that countries like Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia are dependent on Ukraine for around 50 per cent of their grains, Beasley noted the stunning turnaround.
“So you’re going from being a breadbasket to now, literally, having to hand out bread to them. It’s just an incredible reverse of reality,” he said.
With the number of people facing starvation worldwide having already spiked from 80 million to 276 million before Russia’s invasion, thanks largely to COVID lockdowns, that figure is set to increase yet again.
Meanwhile, Russia has also threatened to close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the west bans Russian oil, a move that would cause oil prices to more than double to $300 a barrel.
Presumably, the ultra wealthy elite who are currently panic buying survival bunkers have already made preparations to cram them with storable food that will last for many years.
For those already on the poverty line or worse, it’s a very different situation.
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