The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has negatively affected East Africa's food security through reduced food supplies and high prices of food, fuel and fertilizer, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said on Thursday.
Export restrictions on grains, vegetable oil and fertilizers have surged since the start of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, the scale having reached the levels of the 2008 global food crisis in terms of share of global trade, the WFP said in its latest situation update on the food security conditions in Eastern Africa.
Noting the Eastern Africa region's high dependence on food and fertilizer imports, the WFP said the Ukraine crisis could further exacerbate the already dire food security situation across countries in the Eastern Africa region.
WFP estimated that the ensuing inflation from the Ukraine crisis could push additional 7 to 10 million people into acute hunger in Eastern Africa in 2022.
"Already, the region witnessed significant short-term jumps in prices of wheat, bread, fuel and fertilizer and widespread shortages of fuel, the most affected being Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Burundi," it said.
According to the WFP, Ukraine and Russia have restricted exports of wheat and other food products equivalent to 42 percent of total calories in restricted products.