Consequences of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine as an Indicator of MENA Dysfunctional and Unequal Economic and Food System Production 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022 has already had a severe impact on the global economy, particularly in commodity markets, with the price for oil and gas escalating rapidly. Together, as a share of the world’s exports, Russia and Ukraine supply approximately a third of the wheat, over 70 percent of sunflower oil, 20 percent of corn, 26.6 percent of barley, and 11 percent of oil. Moreover, Russia is one of the world’s most significant providers of fertilizers and related raw materials such as sulfur. Since the invasion, ports on the Black Sea have almost stopped all forms of commercial activity, leading to a historic rise in wheat prices exceeding levels observed during the global food crisis in 2007-2008. Rising inflation and reduced GDP growth are expected on a worldwide scale by most economic institutions. The IMF, for instance, is anticipating this year’s inflation to reach “5.7 percent in advanced economies and 8.7 percent in emerging market and developing economies—1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected in January,” while the global economy is expected to grow by 3.6 percent, down by 0.8 percent from January’s forecast. The World Bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook report has stated that the war in Ukraine has dealt a major shock to commodity markets, altering global patterns of trade, production, and consumption in ways that will keep prices at historically high levels through the end of 2024, representing “overall the largest commodity shock we’ve experienced since the 1970s.”

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