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The Ukraine crisis shows how fragile our food systems are

The world’s food systems are being battered on 3 fronts: suffocated by climate change, shaken by the COVID-19 earthquake, and suffering from the cyclone of war.

June’s food price index from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has risen a staggering 50% in the last 18 months. The biggest and most recent conflict, the invasion of Ukraine, has severely restricted the production and export of cereals and fertiliser from Ukraine and Russia, increasing the price of staples like bread, oil and hitting hard the living standards of the poor.

On climate, the latest IPCC report concludes there will be significant yield decreases in nutrient rich foods like fruit and vegetables, decreases in the nutrient content of staple foods like rice and wheat, and increased risk of disruptions of supply chains due to extreme weather. Diet quality will suffer.

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Due to COVID-19, the UN calculates another 118 million people have become chronically hungry between 2020 and 2021, the fastest rise in history caused by COVID-19 labour shortages, income declines, and supply chain breakdowns.

Read more: TIME

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