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Odds Of A Global Recession? 50/50, Says David Malpass | GZERO World

Odds of a global recession? 50/50, says David Malpass

Global inflation is forecast to finish 2022 at 8.8%, settling in at around 6.5% in 2023. So is a global recession imminent? David Malpass, President of the World Bank, discusses the global economy with Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World.

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"Lives At Risk" in Sub-Saharan Africa Due To Rising Food and Fuel Costs | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Focus on Africa: hunger, energy, climate - and the path to growth

Sub-Saharan Africa was on the brink of economic recovery last year. Now, the World Bank expects its growth to slow in 2023. With global inflation on the rise, rising food and fuel costs “actually put lives at risk in a way few other shocks can," says International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior economist Andrew Tiffin.

And sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable: 123 million people there are currently food-insecure, while the region accounts for 6% of the global energy demand. With climate change exponentially leading to those numbers rising, Tiffin says: “Any globally viable discussion has to take into account Africa’s concerns and needs. Because without that, there is simply no solution.”

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At UN, Ukraine War Launches “New Debate” on Russia | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Why is Russia on the UN Security Council?

“The UN is back,” said Melissa Fleming, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. In an interview with GZERO Media on the sidelines of the 77th General Assembly, Fleming reflected on the return to in-person diplomacy after years of disruption caused by pandemic.

“There is this real feeling that the UN is the only place for global cooperation,” she said. “We cannot solve the world's intractable problems of climate change, of war, of refugees without multilateralism, and multilateralism is the UN. It is nations working together to solve problems.”

In the interview, Fleming also acknowledged that the collision of recent global crises had created uncertainty about the power of multilateralism. But she said recent diplomatic efforts lead by the UN, including the Black Sea grain initiative to help mitigate a growing food insecurity crisis, have brought renewed energy.

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Internally displaced Somali women stand in a queue waiting for relief food to be served south of Mogadishu, September 5, 2011.

Reuters

Famine looms in Somalia

The effects of the global food crisis have hit some parts of the globe harder than others. Prone to drought and largely reliant on food imports, the Horn of Africa is reeling, and Somalia, in particular, is facing an acute crisis.

The UN warned this week that “famine is at the door” of the 17 million-strong country, cautioning that several provinces in the southern Bay region could be in the throes of a deadly famine by the end of the year.

Somalia’s current predicament is a cautionary tale for other East African states that have also been pummeled in recent decades by extreme weather events and social and political instability.

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Reuters

Shortages reach far beyond food

The war in Ukraine is just the latest crisis to befall global supply chains in recent years, and it appears likely to get worse before it finally eases. It’s not just about interrupted flows, shortages, and higher prices for food and fuel. According to a report published in May 2022 by Dun & Bradstreet, a total of at least 615,000 businesses operating globally depend on supplies from either Russia or Ukraine. About 90% of those firms are based in the United States, but supply chains in Europe, China, Canada, Australia, and Brazil are heavily impacted. According to the report, a total of 25 countries have a high dependency on Russia and Ukraine for a variety of commodities.

Five months into the war, it’s clear that the likeliest outcome of the current fighting will be a long-term stalemate. Russia doesn’t appear militarily strong enough to take and hold all of Ukraine, and Ukraine doesn’t appear strong enough to drive Russian troops completely off Ukrainian land. As a result, those who depend on resources and production inputs from Russia and Ukraine now know they’ll likely need to invest in new suppliers of hundreds of different commodities and products – from sunflower seeds to turbojets – to build better resilience into their supply chains, rather than simply waiting for the fighting to end.

Paige Fusco

Food prices are falling: that’s good news, right? Right?

Don’t look now, but one of the worst stories in the world is actually getting better. Slightly.

You’ve doubtless seen a lot about — and probably experienced — soaring global food prices in recent months. The pandemic drove up prices, and the war in Ukraine sent them to dizzying heights. Close to a billion people slid closer to famine and poverty.

Well, global food prices are actually falling now. In fact, they’ve been on their way down for several months.

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Can we still meet the SDGs? | GZERO Media

Shocks making it harder to meet Sustainable Development Goals

After the pandemic and now the global food crisis, meeting the UN's Sustainable Goals by the 2030 deadline will be a tall order.

But actually it's previous systemic challenges aggravated by those crises that are undermining the push to achieve the SDGs, Kathryn Hollifield, from the World Bank's Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, explained during a livestream discussion on the global food crisis hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Officials from the Solomon Islands and China attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2019.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

What We're Watching: China's Pacific strategy, Ukraine food corridor negotiations, Turkey and Israel getting closer

China doubles down on Pacific strategy

Barely a month after inking a controversial security agreement with the Solomon Islands, China's top diplomat on Thursday kicks off a whistle-stop Pacific tour to a whopping eight countries in just 10 days. Foreign Minister Wang Yi reportedly aims to get them to join a China-led regional security and cooperation framework that Western countries fear will allow Beijing to gain a military foothold in a region long-neglected by the US and its allies. The Chinese, for their part, insist no such deal has been offered and that the countries Wang plans to visit are just "good friends." But Australia and New Zealand aren’t buying it: the Aussies have dispatched their newly minted foreign minister to Fiji in the first stop of a roadshow to counter China in the Pacific, while the Kiwis have announced plans to extend their troop deployment in the Solomon Islands for another year. What's more, both Australia and New Zealand — along with the US — are worried about China's plans for the mega-remote island nation of Kiribati, which has few inhabitants, vast territorial waters, huge strategic value … and switched recognition from Taiwan to China in 2019.

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