Background - 18.07.2022 - 00:00 

Global food crisis: Heads of FAO, IMF, WFP, World Bank and WTO issued joint statement with reference to the Global Trade Alert

Facing a global food security crisis, the heads of multiple global organizations issued a joint statement on Friday, 15 July, calling for countries to strengthen safety nets, facilitate trade, boost production, and invest in resilient agriculture. One aspect that needs to be addressed are the growing numbers of export restrictions.

18 July 2022. COVID-19 and the following interruption in international supply chains as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine have disrupted the interlinked food, fuel, and fertilizer markets in a serious manner. Consequently, food prices have risen during the past months and around 25 countries have reacted to these developments by adopting export restrictions since February 2022, as the Global Trade Alert showed this June. These restrictions now affect over 8 percent of global food trade. HSG Professor Simon Evenett commented: “Fear drives the imposition of export bans. Worse, that fear is contagious. Governments start banning food exports because they fear other states will do so.” 

Facilitate trade, boost production and investments to overcome crisis

The World Food Programm (WFP) hat estimated that the number of food insecure people has risen to 345 million people globally (across 82 countries). Facing this growing crisis with possibly devastating consequences, the heads of multiple global organizations have issued a joint statement for urgent action last Friday. “We call for countries to strengthen safety nets, facilitate trade, boost production, and invest in resilient agriculture. Country specific needs should be identified and defined through a country-based process that mobilizes investments from multilateral development banks to connect short-, medium- and long-term opportunities.” These plea is at the core of the joint statement issued by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director General Qu Dongyu, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass, WFP Executive Director David Beasley and World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. They commit themselves to working together to support this process through the Global Alliance for Food Security, jointly convened by the G7 Presidency and the WBG last May. 

Image: Unsplash / Kyryl Levenets

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