The head of the World Food Programme, David Beasley, has warned the conflict in Ukraine could send global food prices soaring, with a catastrophic impact on the world’s poorest.
Ukraine and Russia are both major exporters of basic foodstuffs, and the war has already hit crop production, driving up prices. Mr Beasley said it was putting more people at risk of starvation worldwide.
“Just when you think hell on earth can’t get any worse, it does,” he said. Russia and Ukraine, once dubbed “the breadbasket of Europe”, export about a quarter of the world’s wheat and half of its sunflower products, like seeds and oil. Ukraine also sells a lot of corn globally.
Analysts have warned that war could impact the production of grains and even double global wheat prices.