Assessment: It is uncanny how often the first book of the Bible fits today’s headlines …

With broad swaths of fertile farmland, Ukraine has long acted as Europe’s bread basket. The aftereffects of Russia’s invasion three months ago are just starting to be felt but are feared to be far-reaching. After two years of pandemic shutdowns and restrictions, the war’s effects are magnified.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index is the highest since the index began in 1990. Eight types of food products are stocked in the emergency food reserve managed by the Chief Food Authority, replenished in a first-in-first-out rotation in quantities sufficient for the period determined by the reference scenario: baby food; dry yeast; flour; canola and soy oil; white sugar; coffee beans; tea; and white rice.

So Yosef collected produce in very large quantity, like the sands of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured. Genesis 41:49 (The Israel BibleTM)

The UN World Food Programme’s Executive Director, David Beasley, said: “Conflict, the climate crisis, Covid-19, and surging food and fuel costs have created a perfect storm — and now we’ve got the war in Ukraine piling catastrophe on top of catastrophe.”

The 2022 Global Report on Food Crises said about 180 million people across 40 countries would face certain food insecurity, which can also lead to malnutrition, mass hunger, and famine.

Ukraine and Russia produce about 29% of the world’s wheat supply. Israel imports its wheat mainly from Russia and Ukraine, but in the tradition of Joseph storehousing wheat to feed Egypt for seven years of famine, Israel is prepared. The National Emergency Authority (RACHEL) is responsible for emergency food reserves for the home front. In an interview with The Media Line on Sunday, Lilach Weissman, the spokesperson of the Israeli Finance Ministry, reassured Israelis that the situation was under control.

“There is a stock [of wheat in Israel, enough] for a very long period ahead, so there is no impact at the moment, and no shortage is expected,” she said.

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