Disaster and Famine: the Effects of Long War

As the Ukraine fight continues, Asian and African countries are experiencing acute shortages of food.

Ukraine, as well as Russia, generate about 12% of the world’s calories and 30% of the world’s marketed grain.

The UN warned in March that the Russian invasion would jeopardize Ukraine’s capacity to “harvest crops, establish new ones, or sustain animal output.”

The Crisis Worsens

Indeed, African countries like Kenya, as well as Ethiopia, which are already dealing with droughts and animal fatalities, are suffering exacerbated food shortages as commodity prices climb.

“The cost of wheat, fuel, as well as fertilizer, has surged around the world, increasing famine issues,” ABC News stated, adding, “many East African countries rely on Ukraine and Russia for a substantial percentage of essential agricultural goods.”

The local food baskets of the United Nations’ World Food Programme have likewise increased in price by 23% in the last year.

Aside from food, Russia generates 11% of the world’s oil production. Since the start of the Ukraine war, gas prices have risen across much of the globe.

High gasoline prices are having an impact on agriculture in Sri Lanka, where farmers already suffer, owing to a ban on synthetic fertilizers.

“As a consequence, they can’t really afford or even find the fuel or kerosene needed to turn the land with tractors and rotavators.”

According to farmer Ravindra Wickramrathana, the ban is leading farmers to only collect 25% of their previous production.

“I can’t really think of the future because everything is getting more expensive and labor prices are rising,” he said.

“How can we continue farming if we can’t afford our costs? We’re at a loss on what to do next.”

How Long Will This Last?

Congress is aiming to authorize $40 billion in funding for the Ukrainian military in order to end the Russian invasion. President Biden stated his previous rescue plan ran out of funds.

“This assistance has been vital to Ukraine’s battlefield victory. We can’t let our relief supplies halt while we wait for more congressional action,” Biden added.

“I am glad that, based on my talks with members of Congress, the proposal I filed appears to have considerable support. Congress is likely to enact it in essentially the shape I suggested.”

“I implore them to do so, and I implore them to do so immediately.”

“The most significant thing happening around the world right now is the conflict in Ukraine,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) concurred.

“I believe we’re on our path to having that done,” he said, referring to the aid package. “Discussions are underway between both the House and Senate appropriators on the structuring of the package.”

“It ought to be free of anything that isn’t directly relevant to assisting Ukrainians in winning the fight.”