The United Nations agencies involved in food security, together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), called this Wednesday for urgent measures in the face of the world crisis due to the shortage of food, aggravated by the war in Ukraine and natural disasters.
“Food remains out of reach for many due to high prices and weather disturbances. The number of people facing acute food insecurity around the world is expected to continue to rise,” officials from these organizations said in a joint statement.
This, “despite the improvement in world food prices and the resumption of grain exports from the Black Sea”, because “the war in Ukraine continues to aggravate the global food security and nutrition crisis, with high prices and volatile energy, food, and fertilizer markets, restrictive trade policies, and supply chain disruptions.”
In the appeal, in which the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) also participate, it is indicated that “fertilizer markets remain volatile, especially in Europe, where Natural gas shortages and high prices have caused many urea and ammonia producers to stop operations.”
“This may reduce fertilizer application rates for the next crop season, prolonging and deepening the impact of the crisis,” they explain.
They highlight “considerable progress” in recent months in “four key areas”: social assistance measures, the export of more than 3 million tons of grain and food from Ukraine, the downward trend of trade restrictive measures and international financial support to the most vulnerable countries.
“Maintaining momentum on these fronts and building resilience for the future will require a continued global and coordinated effort to support efficient production and trade, improve transparency, accelerate innovation and co-planning, and invest in transforming food systems” , indicate the heads of the FAO, the WFP, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.
They mention measures to be taken by governments such as “urgently re-examining their agricultural trade and market interventions, such as subsidies and export restrictions, to identify and minimize distortions” and “providing the necessary data and resources to support the System Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), which improves the transparency of food markets”.
They must also commit to agricultural innovation, “crucial to face the long-term challenges of climate change, degradation of land and ecosystems, pests and transboundary diseases of plants and animals.”
And finally, “reinforcing the resilience of food systems to risks, including conflict, extreme weather events, economic shocks and disease, which is critical to long-term response”
“Addressing both infrastructure and input supply bottlenecks (for example, fertilizers and seeds) is critical to an efficient food supply system,” they concluded.