With predictions that inflation will continue to creep up, concerns are growing that the global food crisis has not yet reached its peak, and that the crisis will become about affordability not availability.
The food-assistance branch of the United Nations, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that 2023 might be even worse than the crippling events of 2022, underscored by food prices remaining stubbornly high.
Currently, it is food prices that are the challenge, not food availability, according to WFP’s chief economist, Arif Husain. But for how long?
“There is food available but the prices are really high,” he stressed.
“But if we are unable to deal with certain things like the availability of fertiliser, not just it being available but available at an affordable cost, then this crisis will turn into a crisis of availability, come next year.”
It has been a very difficult year for farmers as the cost of fertilisers doubled this year, according to a UN report. Those costs are then passed onto the consumer, resulting in higher prices across a breadth of food products.
“Hundreds of millions of people remain crippled by the toxic combination of tumbling currencies and high food inflation.”