International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Russia’s exit from a grain deal allowing Ukrainian exports via the Black Sea could worsen the global food security outlook and risks adding to food inflation, especially for low-income countries.
The deal, which was brokered by the United Nations, was designed to allow Ukraine to export its grain through the Black Sea, despite the ongoing war with Russia. However, Russia announced on July 17, 2023 that it was withdrawing from the deal, citing security concerns.
The IMF said that Russia’s exit from the deal “worsens the food security outlook and risks adding to food inflation, especially for low-income countries.” The fund said that Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, corn, and sunflower oil, and that its exports are “critical for global food security.”
The IMF said that the war in Ukraine has already disrupted global food markets, and that Russia’s exit from the grain deal could further exacerbate these disruptions. The fund said that the price of wheat has already risen by more than 50% since the start of the war, and that the price of corn has risen by more than 30%.
The IMF said that the food price increases are already having a “significant impact” on low-income countries, and that the impact could be even worse if Russia’s exit from the grain deal leads to further disruptions in global food markets.
The IMF called on the international community to “urgently address the food security challenges” posed by the war in Ukraine. The fund said that the international community should “help to ensure that Ukraine’s grain exports can reach global markets,” and that it should “provide financial assistance to low-income countries to help them cope with the rising food prices.”