On Thursday, President Joe Biden took questions from the press in Brussels, Belgium, after meeting with the G-7 alliance to discuss the Western world’s response to Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine. Biden confirmed speculation that food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine are going to impact much of the world in the year ahead.
“It’s going to be real,” Biden said at the news conference in reference to food shortages. “The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
Earlier in March, Biden announced a new wave of U.S. sanctions targeting the property of Russian oligarchs, while also banning various Russian exports such as luxury goods. Pending approval from the U.S. Congress, Biden will also suspend normal trading status with Russia by revoking its most favored nation status, in coordination with other allies.
On Wednesday, The Daily Wire’s “Morning Wire” podcast reported that due to the war in Ukraine, Americans should expect major disruptions to the food supply chain. Together, Russia and Ukraine typically provide roughly 25% of global wheat exports, but because of agricultural and economic measures taken by both countries, those exports will sharply decrease. That disruption will, in turn, drive up food costs around the globe.
“Over the past month, the grain market has seen such volatility that many farmers — despite having a product suddenly in short supply — are struggling to find buyers due to near-unprecedented spikes in the futures market of the commodity,” The Daily Wire’s Cabot Phillips reported.
At the same time, “fertilizer prices have also seen more than their fair share of volatility as the war in Ukraine disrupts supply chains and alters demand,” he added.
“Russia, which supplies roughly ten percent of all fertilizer for American farmers, no longer allows such exports to the United States,” which adds to the problem, Phillips explained.
In an interview with Politico, David Beasley, the U.N.’s World Food Programme executive director, also warned that the food shortages will disproportionately harm Africa and the Middle East, kickstarting a mass migration crisis for Europe.
“We’re billions short,” Beasley said in reference to the U.N.’s ability to prepare for the coming crisis. “Failure to provide this year a few extra billion dollars means you’re going to have famine, destabilization and mass migration.”
“The crunch point will come in the fall, Beasley said, when the full impact of the war’s disruption is likely to be felt,” Politico reported.
“If you think we’ve got hell on earth now, you just get ready,” Beasley warned. “If we neglect northern Africa, northern Africa’s coming to Europe. If we neglect the Middle East, [the] Middle East is coming to Europe,” he continued, explaining the chain reaction.
Beasley is begging European nations to provide more funding this year so that the WFP can properly handle the food crisis to prevent the migration crisis.
According to Bloomberg, Biden also discussed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the possibility of a trade agreement between Canada and the U.S. to help offset prices while maintaining food supply:
Biden said that at the G-7 summit in Brussels earlier that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both discussed increasing their nation’s agricultural production to try to make up for shortfalls. Biden said he’s also urging all nations including those in Europe to drop trade restrictions that could restrict exports of food.