Hunger Caused by Ukraine Conflict


Charles-Etienne Simard, Editor

The war between Ukraine and Russia affects the wheat industry and could cause hunger for millions of people.


Shortly after the beginning of the war, Ukraine and Russia stopped exporting their wheat and corn and kept it to provide food for their citizens.


Russia is the third biggest producer of wheat and the biggest exporter in the world. On the other side, Ukraine is the 9th biggest producer and 5th exporter. Combined, Russia and Ukraine exports around 30% of the world’s wheat, which is around 60 millions tons. The war going on between them could gravely affect the food industry.


There are many countries that depend on Ukraine and Russia and the war could lead to severe repercussions for them. Most of the buyers are from Africa and the Middle-East, two regions that already have some malnutrition and hunger problems.


One of the problems is the bad timing. Since the last few years, the price of food has increased and the war could complicate it even more. “After decades of seeing the percent of the population that is malnourished in the world decline, over the last four or five years we’ve actually seen rising percentages,” said Joseph Glauber, a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute.


Arif Housain, chief economist at the United Nations World Food Program said that even if Russia and Ukraine aren’t part of the food supply chain at the moment, there will still be enough food. The main issue would be the higher costs of it, and if no one pays, people will die of hunger.  He said “ Someone has to pay for these higher costs.”


 The most affected country by the war is Egypt, with its 105 millions citizens, who got 69,4% of their wheat( 4.2 million tons ) from those two countries in 2021. Other countries, like Turkey and Bangladesh also import most of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.