Global food chains have been broken. Ukraine and the Russian Federation provide around 30% of the world’s wheat and barley. Thirty-six countries import more than 50% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, including Pakistan, Somalia, Lebanon, Turkey, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and Burundi – all countries that Concern works in. The conflict in Ukraine also means that there have been spikes in commodity prices and disrupted supply chains. This results in a lack of resources for poorer countries depending on wheat from the region, for example, and anything available is rocketing in price.
This situation would be difficult in any circumstances, but rising food prices are coming after a series of challenges that have already increased prices, reduced income and exacerbated instability.
In the Horn of Africa, desperately needed rains failed for the fourth consecutive time almost two months into the current rainy season. This could potentially lead to the worst drought in 40 years in a region that is officially facing a near-hunger crisis, as the UN and other humanitarian agencies have unanimously warned. The predictions are alarming: If these conditions continue, a further 20 million people will go hungry this year.