UN Reports That Global Food Prices Could Rise Another 22 Percent

by Victoria Santiago

The United Nations has officially warned that global food prices are likely to go up by at least another 22%. This price surge is due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. In the UN report, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that food prices have already been hitting record highs. Food production in Ukraine and Russia makes up a large chunk of the world’s calories. However, due to this conflict, their food output has gone down significantly.

At a Glance

  • Amid Russa-Ukraine conflict, food prices will continue to get higher.
  • The two countries make up over a tenth of global calories.
  • Food output has gone down because of Russia’s invasion.
  • According to the FAO Director-General, this conflict “could seriously escalate food insecurity globally.”

Food Prices Have Been Soaring In Recent Months

The UN report, which was released on March 11, warns that food prices are going to keep rising. This is news that no one wants to hear, but it isn’t surprising. In recent months, costs have been up across the board, including food.

When Russia invaded Ukraine late last month, there was a “sudden and steep reduction” of exports from the two countries. Both countries are key players in the world’s food supply, so this drop could have serious consequences. For example, the world’s wheat supply will suffer greatly due to this. Russia is the world’s largest wheat producer. Ukraine is the fifth largest. In fact, fifty countries rely on Russia and Ukraine for 30% of their wheat supply, according to the FAO.

“Many of them are least developed countries or low-income, food-deficit countries in Northern Africa, Asia and the Near East,” said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu. Since no one knows what the outcome of this conflict will be, or how long it will last, the food supply from the two countries is shaky. Thus, prices remain high.

“The conflict’s intensity and duration remain uncertain. The likely disruptions to agricultural activities of these two major exporters of staple commodities could seriously escalate food insecurity globally, when international food and input prices are already high and volatile,” Dongyu added. “The conflict could also constrain agricultural production and purchasing power in Ukraine, leading to increased food insecurity locally.”

Food Prices Contribute To Sky-High Inflation In the US

This unfortunate news is just one aspect of price surges happening in the US right now. In fact, the inflation rate is the highest its been in 40 years.

The Hill reports that there’s been a 7.9% increase in prices over the last 12 months. In February alone, prices went up by 0.8%. Food prices are not the only prices directly affected by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Gas prices, which are hitting record highs, are also impacted by the invasion.