July Is Impacts of High Food, Fuel and Fertilizer Cost Month on Agrilinks
This post was written by Amy Sink Davies, director, Office of Policy, Analysis and Engagement, USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security.
The global community is facing unprecedented challenges in our efforts to reduce global hunger, poverty and malnutrition. The cumulative impacts of COVID-19, climatic shocks and protracted conflict have been further exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. War-induced supply disruptions and record-high prices for food, fuel and fertilizer could push an estimated 40 million more people into poverty and food insecurity by the end of this year.
This grim reality provides an important reminder of the complexity of our food systems and their reliance on numerous inputs and industries. It also highlights the powerful role that prices play in food systems. Analyses from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) project significant increases in poverty and hunger and reductions in dietary quality in many vulnerable countries, stemming from higher prices of food, fuel and fertilizer. While high food prices will negatively impact diets, high fertilizer prices are expected to play a bigger role in increasing poverty. In addition, these elevated prices are likely to persist, impacting food insecurity well into 2023 and possibly longer.
These threats to food security are front and center for action within the global community. From the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group to the Roadmap for a Global Food Security Call to Action hosted during the United States’ presidency of the United Nations Security Council to the G7 Leaders Summit this past week, the world is focused on taking action to avert the worst-case scenario we know is all too possible.
This month on Agrilinks, we will take stock of what we are doing — and can do — to lessen the impact of high prices on poverty, hunger and malnutrition. We invite you to send us examples of what you are doing to adapt or expand your programs to buffer the impacts of high prices on the most vulnerable communities, support farmers’ access to fertilizer and other inputs for the next planting seasons and ensure markets continue to function. As we enter the second half of 2022, the stakes could not be higher and our collective action more critical.