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UN warns Ukraine war will devastate poor countries

UN warns Ukraine war will devastate poor countries

UN warns Ukraine war will devastate poor countries
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A UN task committee warns that Russia’s conflict in Ukraine threatens to ruin several developing nations’ economies, already struggling with rising food and energy costs.

The battle was “supercharging” food, energy, and financial crises in impoverished nations already dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and a lack of proper funds for economic recovery, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ report on April 13.

“We are now facing a perfect storm that threatens to devastate the economies of many developing countries,” Guterres told reporters.

“As many as 1.7 billion people — one-third of whom are already living in poverty — are now highly exposed to disruptions in food, energy. and finance systems that are triggering increases in poverty and hunger.”

According to Guterres, 36 countries purchase more than half their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.

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On top of that, rising food and energy prices might lead to social and political unrest in many impoverished nations, Guterres said.

It included an end to the Ukraine war, the removal of export restrictions, investment in renewable energy, and financial assistance to poor nations.

The task force’s secretary-general, Rebeca Grynspan, said those individuals reside in 107 nations that are “severely exposed” to at least one aspect of the crisis—rising food, energy, or financial prices.

The research says 69 nations with 1.2 billion people risk a “perfect storm” of exposure to all three issues. They include 25 Africans, 25 Asian and Pacific, and 19 Latin American and Caribbean.

Aside from gas and oil, Russia and Belarus export over 20% of the world’s fertilisers.

According to Guterres, oil prices have risen 60% in the last year, gas prices 50% in recent months, and fertiliser costs have doubled.

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In addition, the task group urges governments to ease export restrictions and provide surpluses and reserves to those in need. Guterres said this would help stabilise food prices and reduce market volatility.

Energy: the task group encouraged countries to release strategic petroleum inventories and reserves promptly and minimise the use of wheat for biofuels.

Guterres encouraged nations to use the situation to speed up the transition to renewable energy.

Developing nations face a decade of missed economic progress, “a generalised debt crisis, and social and political instability” if the international community does not move quickly on financing.

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