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Ukraine war brings threat of hunger and revolt

War threatens food supply lines and rising prices. But this crisis has the potential to lead to a fightback and uprisings
Issue 2797
Food supply lines will be impacted by war

Food supply lines will be hit by war in Ukraine

War in Ukraine is shattering food supply chains, being used to drive up prices, and potentially causing revolt. In Lebanon since the start of March, flour has disappeared from the shops and the price of bread has increased by 70 percent.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, relies on Russia and Ukraine for more than 80 percent of its wheat purchased on international markets. Its subsidised bread programme, which feeds 70 million people, is under severe strain.

Uncertainty surrounding exports from both countries have kept wheat prices two-thirds higher than a year ago. The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) said the impact of war, rising food prices and crop shortages was already being felt in the Middle East and north Africa.

“This could cause an escalation of hunger and poverty with dire implications for global stability,” said Gilbert Houngbo, Ifad president.

The Financial Times wrote nervously on Monday, “A food crisis in 2007-08 caused by droughts in key wheat and rice-producing countries and a surge in energy prices led to riots in more than 40 countries around the world.” We say bring on the riots—and revolutions.

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