Global hunger ‘alarmingly high’ six months after Putin invaded Ukraine

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Global hunger levels “remain alarmingly high” nearly six months on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the World Bank has warned.

The conflict and the fallout from the pandemic have created an entrenched supply chain crisis “that will drive millions more into extreme poverty, magnifying hunger and malnutrition, while threatening to erase hard-won gains in development”, the Washington, D.C.-based organisation said.

Its analysts warned the multi-headed crisis is “reversing years of development gains” and threatens to hit low and middle-income countries particularly hard.

They warned seven countries – Afghanistan, Eritrea, Mauritania, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Yemen – have been put at the greatest risk of facing “overlapping” food and debt crises thanks to the war.

The analysts said: “For poor countries that depend on food imports from Russia and Ukraine, many of which are in Africa, finding alternative food sources in the short term is difficult with low regional supply and limited transport and storage infrastructure.”

Monday saw the first voyage of a Ukrainian grain ship through the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni left the port city of Odesa carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn bound for Lebanon, nearly two weeks after Ukraine and Russia agreed to a Turkey-brokered deal to allow trade through the crucial sea route.

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