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The Global Food Crisis and the Ukraine War

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Duration: 0:28:58 | Added: 12 May 2023
Exploring the three elements that intersect and contribute to the global food crisis.

There is a global food crisis. It is connected with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in several ways. The aspect that gained publicity is the interruption of wheat supplies from Black Sea ports to international food markets. This has been addressed by the ‘Black Sea Grain Initiative’ led by the UN and Turkey. A second aspect is the ripple effects from the emergent war economies and the Atlantic and eastern blocs. A third is that principled multilateral engagement in crises in the Global South has been supplanted by rivalrous transactional diplomacy. All three elements intersect in food-vulnerable regions of the world such as the Horn of Africa to calamitous effect.

Professor Alex de Waal is executive director of the World Peace Foundation and Research Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University. He has worked on the Horn of Africa, and on conflict, food security and related issues since the 1980s as a researcher and practitioner. He served as a senior advisor to the African Union High Level Panel on Sudan and South Sudan. He was listed among Foreign Policy’s 100 most influential international intellectuals in 2008 and Atlantic’s 29 ‘brave thinkers’ in 2009. De Waal’s recent books include: The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa: Money, War and the Business of Power (Polity 2015), Mass Starvation: The history and future of famine (Polity 2018), and New Pandemics, Old Politics: 200 years of the war on disease and its alternatives (Polity 2021).

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