International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday that global food shortages represent a “dire” situation — meaning that nations like the United States must increase their production and exports.
Many disadvantaged nations across the globe are experiencing constrained supply amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The two countries combined produce roughly 12% of the world’s calories, as well as 30% of the world’s traded wheat. The United Nations warned as early as March that Ukraine’s ability to “harvest crops, plant new ones or sustain livestock production” is in jeopardy due to the conflict.
During an interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, Georgieva characterized the situation as “indeed very dire.”
“Before the war, already there were parts of the world where agricultural productivity dropped as a result of weather events, the Horn of Africa, but also India, which could modestly put some export for the world if that didn’t happen,” she explained. “The war, of course, is horrific in this environment. The fact that Russia has blocked the export of grain from Ukraine translates into hunger and yes, potentially famine in Africa … in parts of the Middle East.”
Indeed, African nations like Kenya and Ethiopia — which are already struggling with drought conditions and related livestock deaths — are facing compounded food shortages amid the rise in food prices.
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