On June 9th 2022, management4health shared its expertise and experience in managing food security and nutrition at a webinar organized by DevelopmentAid. This is the start of a series of workshops which also happens to be the first time ever that DevelopmentAid has worked directly with their consultants.
The topic of the workshop was how the warzone in Ukraine has been affecting global food security. The Russian invasion in Ukraine jeopardizes food security of tens of millions of people around the world, possibly causing a global food crisis that might last for years.
Russia and Ukraine hold a very dominant position in the sunflower oil, wheat, maize and fertilizer markets. As a result of the war, there has been a drop in the export quantity of these goods. However, the problem is more a price issue than a quantity issue. Even though prices were already at a record high before the war – fueled by the Corona pandemic and climate change, prices skyrocketed as a consequence of the war. The political instability creates a lot of insecurity in the market, and this in turn leads to higher and more volatile prices, which impacts the economic access to food and leads to an increase in acute malnutrition.
There are interventions that can be applied in order to cope with the current food crisis and increase resilience to future shocks. More effort on nutrition-specific interventions is needed to combat acute malnutrition. Nutrition-sensitive measures should target increasing resilience to price shocks, for example by focusing on income generation of smallholder households or by reducing dependence on fertilizer. This can be done by diversifying farming systems, increasing acceptance of non-traditional crops, promoting crops like beans that need less fertilizer and improving fertilizer management by soil maps. However, one thing that is certain is that the future global food security situation will very much depend on how long the war in Ukraine continues.