The Ukraine war's disruptions to grain and fertilizer flows have prompted the worst food security crisis since at least the one following the 2007-2008 global financial meltdown, with some 345 million people now facing life-threatening shortages, the International Monetary Fund said on Friday.
A new IMF research paper estimates that the 48 countries most exposed to food shortages face a combined increase in their import bills of $9 billion in 2022 and 2023 due to the sudden jump in food and fertilizer prices caused by Russia's invasion.
This will erode reserves for many fragile and conflict-affected states that already face balance-of-payments problems after a grinding pandemic and rising energy costs, the IMF said.
"For this year alone, we estimate that highly exposed countries need as much as $7 billion to help the poorest households cope," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other IMF officials said in a blog posting.
The war has worsened a food crisis that has been growing since 2018, due partly to the increasing frequency and severity of climate shocks and regional conflicts, they said.
The Fund called for a rapid increase in humanitarian assistance through the World Food Programme and other organizations as well as targeted fiscal measures in affected countries to aid the poor. But it said governments needed to prioritize fighting inflation.
"Near-term social assistance should focus on providing emergency food relief or cash transfers to the poor, such as those recently announced by Djibouti, Honduras and Sierra Leone," Georgieva said.
The Fund also called for eliminating food export bans and other protectionist measures, citing World Bank research that these account for as much as 9% of the world wheat price increase.
Improved crop production and distribution, including through increased trade finance, is also vital to addressing the current food price shock, the Fund said. It added that investments in climate-resilient agriculture, water management and crop insurance are also needed to cope with drought and other unpredictable climate events.
The new research and recommendations were released as the IMF's Executive Board approved increased year-long emergency financing access through a new food shock window for the most vulnerable countries.
The new emergency facility could provide as much as $1.3 billion in additional IMF financing for Ukraine.
Ukraine was among the top five grain exporters before the war, accounting for some 15% of global corn exports and 12% of wheat exports, and a resumption of shipments from Black Sea ports under a deal with Russia has only partly eased shortages. But the conflict is reducing Ukraine's future crop production.
Russia, also a top grain exporter, curtailed exports earlier this year to neighboring former Soviet republics. Both Russia and Ukraine have been major fertilizer exporters.
The Fund identified Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Armenia and Georgia as the most dependent on Ukrainian and Russian food imports as a percentage of their GDP. Countries most dependent on Ukrainian and Russian fertilizers include Moldova, Latvia, Estonia, Paraguay and Kyrgyzstan.
PCB announces team management for Australia tour
Pakistan to showcase climate resilient projects at COP28
President emphasizes need for formulation of national mental health policy
Pakistani actress Madiha Imam ties knot with Moji Basar in India
Caretaker PM visits memorial of UAE's national heroes in Abu Dhabi
Pakistan women team beat New Zealand in first clash
Winter activity and political turmoil!
Government, opposition and public!
Present regime and dengue!
The repetition of history and the hidden sciences!
Whispers, rumors and rulers' narrative!
Chief Justice In Action | News Headlines | 03 PM | 28 November 2023 | GNN
Important Personality Dismissed from the Position | Breaking News | GNN
IG Islamabad Appeared In IHC | Breaking News | GNN
PML-N Leader Marriyum Aurangzeb Important Statement | Breaking News | GNN
PCB's U-Turn #gnn #pcb #uturn #azamkhan #news #breaking #update #viral #latest #video
Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri Gave Big News From Israel | Biden Gone | GNN
Business 1 day ago
Team of IMF experts reaches Pakistan
Sports 1 day ago
Milroe steers Alabama rally, Tide still in CFP mix
Pakistan 22 hours ago
Caretaker PM Kakar to embark on visit to Kuwait on Tuesday
Regional 13 hours ago
Lahore AQI falls compared to previous days
Regional 1 day ago
Mary Kay Letourneau, the grim inspiration for May December, explained
Entertainment 1 day ago
Actress Armeena Khan's father passes away
Sports 1 day ago
Tight title race on the horizon? Liverpool's draw at Man City could be a sign
Technology 17 hours ago
Hayao Miyazaki is very convincing