World hunger and food insecurity will rise dramatically due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, according to a new report from the Global Network Against Food Crises and the Food Security Information Network,
The report, released Wednesday, states that roughly 181 million people across 41 countries will experience a food crisis this year, including in Ukraine alone, where as many as 5 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. That figure is expected to go up as more data becomes available.
The report is just one several since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February that has projected a resulting global food crisis. However, Wednesday’s report is the first data-driven presentation of the impact of the war on global food access could look like.
The network documented that 2021 was already a record year with close to 193 million across 53 countries experiencing acute food insecurities. The 2021 numbers marked a 25% spike in food insecurity, or an increase of 40 million people year-over-year with 2020.
Russia and Ukraine major exporters of wheat, barley, maize, sunflowers seeds and sunflower oil.
The war has disrupted major parts of the global wheat market, which has alarmed officials who are concerned the longer the conflict goes on the greater the disruption to global food supply chains will be.
The world, wrote U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, is “facing hunger on an unprecedented scale, food prices have never been higher, and millions of lives and livelihoods are hanging in the balance.”
He also said in his foreword of the report: “The war in Ukraine is supercharging a three-dimensional crisis – food, energy and finance – with devastating impacts on the world’s most vulnerable people, countries and economies.”
The U.N.’s World Food Programme estimates that more than 800 million people across the globe go hungry each night, primarily due to war.