Impacts of the war in Ukraine on food security in low-income countries
The prospect of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including those on hunger and poverty, is heavily jeopardized by recent global crises. The ongoing war in Ukraine has compounded the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The war significantly increased the cost of grains, oil, energy sources and fertilizers, inflation increased to about 9% in 2022, and rising interest rates are causing distinct challenges for lower-income economies. Increases in food prices impact people in low- and middle-income countries disproportionally, and increased oil prices negatively impact countries dependent on imports. These crises have distinct gendered impacts.
The compounding crises and their far-reaching implications are stretching governments’ capacities to absorb the price shocks and market disruptions triggered by the war. Most countries around the world implemented economic policy responses in 2020, but lower-income economies had far less fiscal space to do so and were less able to mitigate increases in poverty and hunger. Since then, growing public debt is shrinking abilities to absorb external shocks.
This project will generate high-quality, gender-responsive, actionable evidence for innovative national and international responses to the compounding crises, particularly the knock-on impacts of the war in Ukraine on the food security of lower-income countries. Engagement with major stakeholders will be integral to the project. The research will produce context-specific, local perspectives and knowledge regarding countries’ and vulnerable populations’ resilience to external shocks and advance policies on how resilience to future disruptions and multiple shocks can be promoted.