Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war, hunger and malnutrition were on the rise globally, with an unacceptable 823 million people going hungry in 2021 according to the recent edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report by five United Nations agencies, including FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO.
The war has pushed an additional 50 million people into severe hunger in 2022 across the world. The war has disrupted prices of and access to inputs like fuels and fertilisers. The World Bank warns that the war in Ukraine is likely to plunge up to 95 million people into extreme poverty, making 2022 the second-worst year ever for poverty alleviation, behind only 2020.
With food prices continuing to rise, another 19 million more people are expected to face chronic undernourishment globally in 2023.
Everyone is squeezed by food price inflation, the poor are the hardest hit, especially in developing countries, where food accounts for half of a typical family’s budget. They are finding it more and more difficult to afford the food needed to nourish their families, and are being forced to reduce food intake, sell their productive assets, or take their children out of school.