The Global Food Crisis Could Be the New Pandemic

Global food insecurity is on the rise, as billions of people all over the world are likely to be pushed into a hunger crisis.

This prompted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to urge global finance leaders to increase their efforts to avert these crises.

Global Food Crisis is Worsening

According to Yellen, the food insecurity threat is impacting the most vulnerable people in every society; these people are already spending a significant chunk of their income on food.

Thus, the global interconnectedness means people of every continent will be impacted by these crises, Yellen claimed.

While there could be many solutions to tackle this imminent threat, some of the pragmatic ones include curbing food exports restrictions and establishing price control authorities all across the world.

Similarly, subsidizing small farmers can also be helpful in countering food insecurity. 

If world leaders fail to solve this issue, it would not only result in the starvation of the masses, but will also trigger social unrest that could be detrimental to global security.

For global economists, the most prevailing issue in the food supply chain is the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict, as both of these countries export one-third of the global wheat combined.

Thus, this disruption is rendering food insecurity in impoverished countries. 

As the costs of fertilizers and petroleum products are rising, there are prevailing concerns in the world that many countries could eventually end up restricting trade in order to pursue the interests of their own population.

This could even encourage countries to amass extra food items in case the crisis gets worse. These sorts of protectionist policies are thus alarming most food safety advocates.

International Institutions to Help the Most Vulnerable 

Yellen also asked international institutions to play their role in these testing times to address the rising fertilizer shortage in the world, alongside the food supply chain crisis.

This they can do by creating new social safety nets in the short run and developing new systems in the long run.

The president of the World Bank, David Malpass, indicated the organization is aiming to provide $17 billion every year to safeguard global food security.

Surging food prices are the primary reason for the incoming food insecurity in the world.

For instance, the Food Price Index of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization has recorded the biggest jump in global food prices since 1990.

As per the organization, the undernourished people in the world will increase by at least eight million every year if the ongoing war persists.

The president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Gilbert Houngbo, stated farmers are the ones on the receiving end of this food insecurity. 

So, these people should have their fair share of the items they are producing for others, he added. 

Likewise, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo noted this is the time the Biden administration should start helping countries in desperate need of essential commodities.