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Global food crisis may persist over Russian invasion of Ukraine – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) report has revealed that the unresolved conflict between Russia and Ukraine upended agricultural commodity markets, food prices remain elevated even after retreating from their record highs in early 2022.

The IMF report which was disclosed at the weekend on their website, stated that 11 straight monthly declines had pushed food prices down 19 percent from a peak last March, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations said on Friday.

According to the report with the two of the world’s largest exporters of wheat and other crucial crops entering a second year of war, many vulnerable countries still face heightened food insecurity. Fragile and conflict-affected states, home to 1 billion people, are at particular risk.

As the report Chart of the Week shows, inflation-adjusted prices in February remained above the average level for recent years, though they are now back in line with levels seen before the war in Ukraine.

The composition of the FAO Food Price Index shows that vegetable oils drove the decline in prices, along with dairy and cereals, while sugar and meat are little changed from early last year.

The IMF and other global institutions said in a recent joint statement on food security that governments and donors must step up support for the most vulnerable, facilitate trade and market functioning, and abandon harmful subsidies.

“More concerted action across these three key areas is needed to prevent a prolonged crisis,” the heads of the FAO, IMF, World Bank, World Food Programme and World Trade Organization said in a Feb. 8 statement, their third since July on the global food and nutrition security crisis,” the report.

The IMF’s reports revealed that new Food Shock Window has so far supported Guinea, Haiti, Malawi, and Ukraine. In addition, nine countries facing acute food insecurity benefited from IMF financial support through new or existing programs, with a focus on strengthening social safety nets and policies to help address the impact of the food crisis.

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