Hunger Pains

Introducing GZERO's Coverage on Hunger Pains: The Growing Global Food Crisis | GZERO Media

The world is on the brink of a crisis that could push more than a billion people towards starvation. A crisis that could upend governments, roil global markets, and rattle households around the world.

The pandemic has scrambled food supply chains, raising costs for everyone. Droughts and floods tied to climate change have hampered harvests around the world. And Russia’s war with Ukraine has made it all worse.

Today, the world faces the sharpest “hunger pains” since the end of World War 2.

GZERO Media’s special coverage of the ongoing food crisis takes you deeper into the story.

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The world is on the brink of a crisis that could push more than a billion people towards starvation. Food supply chains, already disrupted by the COVID pandemic, are now further roiled by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Droughts and floods tied to climate change are impacting harvests globally and prices continue to rise, driving those most in need further into poverty.

In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GZERO presents “Hunger Pains,” a livestream event focused on this growing problem and practical solutions that are urgently needed.

The hour-long event will feature expert voices including Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman, David Laborde of the International Food Policy Research Institute, and GZERO Media’s president and founder of Eurasia Group Ian Bremmer in conversation with moderator Diana Fox Carney, a Eurasia Group senior advisor on climate and sustainability. Please register to attend.

Annie Gugliotta.

Andrew Crook, a fish and chip shop owner in the northern English town of Euxton, has been in the industry for so long, he says, that he’s got “vinegar in his blood.”

Crook has seen plenty of ups and downs at work. But the 46-year-old says he’s never seen anything quite like the storms shaking the industry now, as the effects of the war in Ukraine put an iconic British industry on the brink of disaster.

“It’s a bleak picture,” Crook tells us from his home in the nearby town of Chorley, just as a loud shriek interrupts the conversation. “I’ve got a macaw,” he explains. “He can tell when I’m on a call, and he likes to join in.”

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the chippies were struggling because higher fuel costs caused by the pandemic were forcing fish trawlers to charge more for their haul.

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Ukraine's grain exports are being held hostage.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

23.5 million: Ukraine is being forced to find storage capacity for a whopping 23.5 million tons of grain thanks to Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports usually used to transport Ukrainian exports like corn and wheat. Kyiv is trying to up its storage capacity ahead of a summer harvest, wary that improperly stored grains can easily spoil.

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Paige Fusco

World Bank issues stark stagflation warning

The war in Ukraine has frustrated attempts to revive the pandemic-battered global economy, creating an endless loop of bad news. That trend continued Tuesday when the World Bank slashed its global growth forecast to 2.9% – down from a January prediction of 4.1%. (It was 5.7% in 2021.) What’s more, the body warned that “subdued growth” will likely continue throughout the decade and could give rise to 1970s-style stagflation – the double whammy of a stagnant economy coupled with double-digit inflation. But the impacts of the lingering global economic crisis won’t be felt equally. The World Bank says that while wealthy countries like the US and China will experience slower-than-usual growth, developing countries will be hardest hit as borrowing costs rise. This is already playing out: Cash-strapped Sri Lanka was recently forced to default on its sovereign debt for the first time. Crucially, the World Bank also warned that the deepening food crisis could cause social upheaval in import-reliant countries in the near-term.

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Police detain a man on the 33rd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China.

REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

6:Six Hong Kongers were arrested over the weekend for publicly marking the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Beijing bans commemorating the event on the mainland, but Hong Kong was, until recently, one of a few Chinese territories where it was allowed. That changed in 2020, when Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the city.

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Russia Plays Hardball With Blockage of Ukraine Grain Exports | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden shares his view from Bratislava, Slovakia.

What's going to be the effect of the EU sanctions on Russian oil exports?

Well, that's going to be somewhat dependent on what happens primarily with oil price. If the oil price were to go up, then in spite of exporting less quantities, Russia will probably earn more money. If the oil price goes down or stays stable, they will be able to gain less, especially since they will have to export at significant discount prices to the people that are ready to buy their oil. So remains to be seen, but a significant step.

Is there any prospect for really releasing all of the grain for the world markets from Ukraine, that Russia is blocking?

It doesn't look very good. Russia is saying "well, well, well, we can lift the blockage of the Black Sea, but that's only if you lift all of the sanctions on us", so they're playing hardball. But effectively, they are now using the restrictions on grain and other products coming out of Ukraine as a weapon against the rest of the world. And that is of course affecting a lot of people. Different studies say that we have perhaps up to 400 million people, in the poorer part of the world, that's going to be very hardly hit by these particular aspects of the brutal Russian aggression.

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Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis | Monday, July 11, 2022 | 2:00 pm ET

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Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis | Monday, July 11, 2022 | 2:00 pm ET
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