The Ukraine war has created food security challenges for many countries, especially for low income food import-dependent ones and vulnerable population groups, according to Qu Dongyu, director-general of the UN agriculture agency.
He was addressing a three-day meeting Friday on the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its wider impact on food and energy prices.
Under the theme "securing global food security in times of crisis," Qu told agriculture ministers from the G7 nations in Stuttgart, Germany, that the most significant threats stem from conflict, and the associated humanitarian impact, together with multiple overlapping crises.
Based on the Global Report on Food Crises released on May 4, last year around 193 million people in 53 countries or territories were officially in the crisis phase or worse.
Other 2021 data revealed that 570,000 people in four countries were in the category of the catastrophe phase.
Just over 39 million in 36 countries faced emergency conditions and more than 133 million in 41 countries were in the crisis phase. A total of 236.2 million people in 41 countries were living in stressed conditions.
Price increases always have food security implications, particularly for the poorest, Qu said.
On top of already "high prices driven by robust demand and high input costs" resulting from Covid recovery, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) chief noted Ukraine and Russia as important players in global commodity markets, saying uncertainty surrounding the war has prompted further price increases.
Vulnerable nations threatened as Ukraine war shrinks food supplies, hikes prices
Also, with levels ranging from 20 to more than 70 percent – Bangladesh, Brazil, Argentina, and other nations, rely on Russian fertiliser for their crops