The war in Ukraine, in all its dimensions, is
producing alarming cascading effects to a
world economy already battered by COVID-19
and climate change, with particularly dramatic
impacts on developing countries. Recent
projections by UNCTAD estimate that the
world economy will be a full percentage point
of GDP growth lower than expected 1due to
the war, which is severely disrupting already
tight food, energy, and financial markets.
Ukraine and the Russian Federation
are among the world’s breadbaskets.
They provide around 30 percent of
the world’s wheat and barley, one-fifth
of its maize, and over half of its
sunflower oil2. At the same time, the
Russian Federation is the world’s
top natural gas exporter, and second-
largest oil exporter. Together,
neighboring Belarus and the Russian
Federation also export around a
fifth of the world’s fertilizers.
As a result, commodity prices are
reaching record highs across the board.
On the 8th of April 2022, the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO) published
its third consecutive record food price index.
Food prices are 34% higher than this time
last year and have never been this high since
FAO started recording them (see figure 1).
Similarly, crude oil prices have increased
by around 60%, and gas and fertilizer
prices have more than doubled3.

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