Ukraine war ‘aggravating’ existing global food crisis, UN warns

As the cost of food soars around the world, the United Nations warns that the war in Ukraine risks aggravating inflating prices and causing a full-on global food crisis.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) food price index, a tool to measure prices of the most globally traded food staples, dipped in May for the second consecutive month after reaching a record in March, the UN agency said on Friday.

Despite the decline, the May index showed prices 22.8 percent higher compared with a year earlier, pushed higher by concerns over the Russian invasion of Ukraine – one of the world’s major bread baskets.

Luca Russo, the FAO’s lead analyst for food crises, told Al Jazeera that as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends energy prices higher, the cost of delivering aid has increased as well. The risk of a severe food crisis is particularly felt in the developing world, he warned.

Al Jazeera spoke with Russo this week about what worries him about the current international response, how millions could face famine while there is a global surplus of food stock, and why 2023 could be a “very, very dangerous year”.

Despite the decline, the May index showed prices 22.8 percent higher compared with a year earlier, pushed higher by concerns over the Russian invasion of Ukraine – one of the world’s major bread baskets.

Luca Russo, the FAO’s lead analyst for food crises, told Al Jazeera that as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sends energy prices higher, the cost of delivering aid has increased as well. The risk of a severe food crisis is particularly felt in the developing world, he warned.

Al Jazeera spoke with Russo this week about what worries him about the current international response, how millions could face famine while there is a global surplus of food stock, and why 2023 could be a “very, very dangerous year”.

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