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Food Has Gotten Expensive — It May Get Scarce in the Future | GZERO Media

Global food crisis: when food isn't merely expensive

Shortages as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine have aggravated a pre-existing global food crisis that could push a billion people — most of them in the poorest parts of the world — into starvation. It's not just one thing: droughts, COVID-induced supply chain snarls, and high energy prices have all gotten us to this point. And it’ll get worse later on if we don’t find ways to future-proof global food systems.

So, what are we gonna do about it? Several experts weighed in during the livestream discussion "Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis," hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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If We Don't Act Now to Help Smallholder Farmers, Developing World Risks Food Scarcity | GZERO Media

If we don't act fast to help smallholder farmers, developing world might soon run low on food

Ertharin Cousin, former head of the UN's World Food Programme, doesn't like when people talk about the handoff between humanitarian response and development response.

Why? Because that imperils those caught in between the two, such as smallholder farmers who barely survived the pandemic and are now struggling with the global food price crisis, she explained in a livestream discussion, "Hunger Pains: The growing global food crisis," presented by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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What's causing the global food crisis? Watch our live townhall discussion

WATCH: In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, GZERO Media presents “Hunger Pains,” a livestream event focused on the growing global food crisis, which 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.

Our experts will discuss the scope of the growing crisis, examine immediate needs and policy priorities, and review solutions that could help future-proof food supplies.

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How Russia's War Is Starving the World | Interview with Food Expert Ertharin Cousin | GZERO World

How Russia's war is starving the world: food expert Ertharin Cousin

Russia and Ukraine are agricultural powerhouses. Between the two they account for almost a third of the world's wheat exports. But the war and sanctions against Moscow have crippled their ability to feed the world. The war has created a perfect storm that will lead to a global food price and supply crisis, according to Ertharin Cousin, former head of the UN World Food Programme, who spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.
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Danger to the Acutely Hungry: Lack of Access, or Lack of Money | GZERO World

Danger to the acutely hungry: lack of access, or lack of money

Where will the war make most people go hungry?

The pandemic pushed some 275 million people into acute hunger around the world. How many more will struggle to find their next meal due to the war in Ukraine?

About double that amount, estimates Ertharin Cousin, former head of the UN World Food Programme.

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Conundrum: Russian Food Can Prevent Starvation by the World’s Poor | GZERO World

Conundrum: Russian food can prevent starvation by the world's poor

Russia's war in Ukraine has put the international community in a tough spot.

Sanctions against Russia that affect global food commodities will make people go hungry, especially in the Global South. But then the Russians will continue to profit from selling all that food.

So, who should make that call? Ertharin Cousin, who knows a thing or two about the United Nations because she used to run its World Food Programme, says it's time for the UN Security Council to step in.

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War in Ukraine: Cascading Impacts on Global Food Supply | GZERO World

War in Ukraine: cascading impacts on global food supply

Russia's war in Ukraine has created a perfect storm for global food security, Ertharin Cousin, former head of the UN World Food Programme, tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

And it's not just that the prices of things like corn or wheat have doubled. Transport costs are up because gas is more expensive, while supplies of fertilizer are down for the same reason.

The food crisis is affecting not only those countries that import stuff from Russia and Ukraine but the entire world. Why? Because these are all global commodities.

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A Perfect Storm of Food Insecurity: A Problem for All of Us | GZERO World with Ian Bremmer

A perfect storm of food insecurity: a problem for all of us

Russia and Ukraine are agricultural powerhouses. But the war and sanctions have crippled their ability to feed the world.

Who's most at risk? Developing countries that rely on those imports. What will the impact be? The disruptions could double the number of people currently suffering from acute food insecurity (some 275 million) due to the pandemic.

On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks to Ertharin Cousin, who knows a thing or two about food security as the former executive director of the UN World Food Programme

Cousin says the war has created a perfect storm that'll led to a global food price and supply crisis. Everyone will be affected because we're talking about global commodities, and the worst might be yet to come since agriculture is a seasonal business.

The conflict, she says, has put the international community in a tough spot. Sanctions will cause hunger, but otherwise, Russia will continue to profit from selling food to the world.

And there's a growing divide between the West and non-aligned developing countries that can't afford to not import Russian food. Conflict-affected nations are the most vulnerable, but many low-income nations will also struggle because they can't afford subsidies to feed their people.

As a bonus, battle over borscht! What’s the back story, and why is the soup such an important part of Ukraine’s national identity? We spoke with a chef, a historian, and a Ukrainian emigré couple to learn more.

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