Situation overview

Global Network’s key messages based on the review of information and analysis from partners on the impacts of the conflict on food crises.

Update 26 May 2022  

  • Several Middle Eastern, northern and sub-Saharan African, as well as South Asian, countries are contingent on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine. In particular, in 2020, 38 countries and territories affected by food crises received 34 percent of the total Ukrainian exports of wheat and maize products in 2020; and food crisis countries accounted for 73 percent of Russian exports of wheat (Global Network calculations based on FAOSTAT data available for 52 food crisis countries in 2019).
  • Among them, 27 countries and territories were affected by major food crises, and received around 13.4 million tonnes of the total exports of Russian and Ukrainian wheat and maize products.
  • Among the largest importers, Yemen, the Sudan, Nigeria and Ethiopia were also among the 10 largest food crises in terms of population in IPC/CH Phase 3 or above in 2020 – three of them were also on the list of Low Income and Food Deficit countries as established by FAO.
  • The situation calls more than ever for supporting livelihoods and food production where it is the most needed: where food availability will be limited by reduced imports, and food access will be curtailed by higher prices and reduced humanitarian food assistance, subsistence agriculture and resilience to shocks will be key for maintaining vulnerable populations’ food security.
  • In 2021, 36 food-crisis countries/territories  depended on Ukrainian and Russian exports for more than 10 percent of their total wheat imports, including 21 countries with major food crises. 20 countries with food crises depending for more than 30 percent, including half of them with major food crises (source: FAO. 2022. Information note: update 25 March 2022).
  • In terms of food supply, wheat and its products represented on average 408 kcals per capita per day in 2019  across food-crisis countries. Its contribution was above this level in 15 countries, including in four affected by major food crises – Afghanistan (1 397 kcal/capita/day), the Syrian Arab Republic (1 092), Yemen (925), Pakistan (874), and the Sudan (535) – and relatively dependent on imports (Global Network calculations based on FAOSTAT data available for 52 food crisis countries in 2019).
  • In addition, access to fertilizers in food crisis countries might be limited by the consequences of the war in Ukraine as fertilizer price continue to increase on international markets. In this context, it is worth noting that food-crisis countries as geographically diverse as Honduras, Cameroon, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mozambique and Kenya depend on the Russian Federation for 10–50 percent of their fertiliser imports (source: FAO. 2022. Information note: update 25 March 2022).
  • In 2022, while the wheat stock-to-use ratio in food crisis countries is estimated at 17 percent as a whole, in the major food crises it was estimated at 14 percent, and in the 10 largest food crises at 11 percent – thus highlighting a low availability and high vulnerability to shocks on international markets. For maize, the stock-to-use ratio was respectively estimates at 13 percent, 10 and 8 percent in the three groups of countries (Global Network calculations based on IFPRI/USDA-PSD. Data accessed on 10 May 2022).

Global implications on food security

Update 13 June 2022


0

percent of total calories traded come from Ukraine and the Russian Federation

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percent of the global market of sunflower seed oil is supplied by Ukraine

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percent of North Africa and the Middle East cereal needs and a large share of wheat and barley import are from Ukraine and Russian Federation

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percent increase in the price of natural gas – a key input for fertilizers – year-on-year in Europe

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points the FAO Cereal Price Index average in May 2022, up to 3.7 points (2.2 percent) from April, 39.7 points (29.7 percent) above its value in May 2021

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out of 55 countries with food crises depended on Ukrainian and Russian exports for more than 10 percent of their total wheat imports in 2021

Ukraine crisis in numbers

Update 13 June 2022


0

million people in need, including 10.2 million in need of food security and livelihoods assistance

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million people targeted, including 7 million targeted with food security and livelihoods assistance

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billion (USD) required for the humanitarian response, of which 469.5 million required for the food security and livelihoods sector

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million Ukrainian refugees recorded in Europe, of which 3.4 million have registered for Temporary Protection or similar national protection schemes

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million IDPs as of 23 May 2022

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percent of areas under winter crops estimated to remain unharvested during the 2022/23 season

Relevant Resources

Latest information and analyses from partners on the impacts of the conflict on food crises along with Global Network's summary messages.

Global displacement hits another record, capping decade-long rising trend
(Global)

UNHCR - 16/06/2022
  • According to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, the number of people forced to flee their homes has increased every year over the past decade and stands at the highest level since records began, a trend that can be only reversed by a new, concerted push towards peacemaking.
  • By the end of 2021, those displaced by war, violence, persecution, and human rights abuses stood at 89.3 million, up 8 percent on a year earlier. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is now causing the fastest and one of the largest forced displacement crises since World War II and has pushed the figure over the unfortunate milestone of 100 million. 
  • Meanwhile, food scarcity, inflation and the climate crisis are adding to people’s hardship, stretching the humanitarian response just as the funding outlook in many situations appears bleak.

FPMA Bulletin - Monthly report on food price trends
Food price monitoring and analysis (Global)

FAO - 15/06/2022
  • International wheat prices increased in May in response to India’s announcement of a wheat export ban, as exports from Ukraine remain hindered by war disruptions, and after India’s larger wheat shipments in recent months played an important role in partially offsetting lost exports from Ukraine. India’s export restriction exacerbated global availability uncertainty. 
  • By contrast, international prices of coarse grains eased, as maize harvests in Argentina and Brazil, along with slightly improved crop conditions in the United States of America, alleviated the pressure on markets. Rice prices increased for the fifth successive month in May, amid generally upbeat demand. 
  • Based on the latest available data, FAO analysis indicates that the number of countries across the globe facing exceptionally high levels of food prices increased sharply in May. Many cases, while originating from reduced domestic supplies, national macroeconomic difficulties, and localized insecurity, are being exacerbated by the impact of the war in Ukraine on international food, fuel, and fertilizer markets.

Global outlook - Crop monitoring European neighbourhood
JRC MARS Bulletin - June 2022 (Country)

Joint Research Centre - 15/06/2022
  • Adverse weather conditions since the start of the 2021 – 2022 season have led to a poor yield outlook for winter crops in a major part of central and western Ukraine while fair yields are expected in the east of the country. At country level, the yield forecast is below the historical trend and well below last year’s record level. Currently, above-average temperatures are expected, which could further reduce the yield potential.
  • In terms of production, this translates to a forecast of 26.88 Mt of wheat, 6.66 Mt of barley, and 3.75Mt of rapeseed. About 22% of the forecast soft wheat production, 19% of the forecast winter barley, and 13% of the forecast rapeseed production is in areas that are currently subject to hostilities due to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • Hostilities have also led to a sharp decrease in the area sown to spring and summer crops. The projections from the Ukrainian Ministry of Agriculture show a sharp drop in the area of spring barley and sunflowers compared with the previous season, due to Russia’s war against Ukraine. Lower production is also forecasted for grain maize and soybeans.

Kenya | Acute Food Insecurity Projection Update March - June 2022
(Country)

Integrated Food Security Phase Classification - 14/06/2022
  • The IPC projection update for Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) region indicates a rise in the number of people facing high levels of acute food insecurity to 4.1 million, over the 3.5 million initially projected over the same period. This includes 1.1 million in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and 3 million in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). This rise is largely underpinned by resource-based conflicts coupled with rising food commodity prices due to depressed crop production that coincides with the peak lean season for most ASAL counties.
  • The upsurge in food commodity prices due to depressed crop production reveals the country’s dependence on imports. In Kenya, wheat remains the third most consumed food commodity and around 86% of the total wheat consumption in Kenya is imported. Kenya is a net importer of wheat from Russia, and the limitations in the supply of wheat and the implications of increased import costs in the event of using alternate supply routes are likely to push prices further up. 
  • The Ukraine-Russia conflict has also negatively affected fuel prices - an essential commodity in the food supply chain- adding to price pressures. The rising food prices are happening at a time when households, especially in urban areas, are still facing hard economic times due to the loss of livelihoods attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. The net effect is a likely increase in malnutrition among children and the general population in Kenya.

Ukraine Humanitarian response update - June 2022
(Country)

FAO - 13/06/2022
  • As of 2 June, 14.2 million ha have been planted with spring crops – 19.4 percent less than last year, according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food (MAPF). According to MAPF, approximately 7.5 million of the country’s 44 million people worked in the agriculture sector before the war, but with current population displacement, there may be a deficit of 1.3 million agricultural workers. Only 40 percent of the labour force typically employed during harvest are currently working.  
  • The number of internally displaced people (IDP) decreased by 11 percent since 3 May, with 7.1 million IDPs as of 23 May. The number of cross-border returns has grown significantly, with a 65 percent increase since 3 May. While the dynamics of returns is unsteady, 77 percent of returnees, mostly in the north of Ukraine (3.4 million people), report that they plan to remain in their homes, requiring agricultural assistance.
  • Agricultural input prices are spiking, with an average increase of 40–45 percent in the price of seed, plant protection agents, fertilizers, and fuel – mostly driven by the latter. As of 12 June, FAO has reached over 25 000 households (65 000 people) with emergency agricultural support (seed potatoes and vegetable seeds) and cash assistance. An additional 9 500 households (24 700 people) will be supported in the coming weeks.
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