The war in Ukraine has disrupted the global supply of food, fuel, and fertilizers. This has made a dire situation worse for millions of people across the African continent and for the aid agencies struggling to help them, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Iran PressEurope: At the start of the year, the Horn of Africa was facing its third severe drought in a decade. The region had already suffered in recent years from a desert locust upsurge, the Covid-19 pandemic, high food prices, and protracted conflicts that made it particularly vulnerable to a new crisis.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) feared that if help to the region could not rapidly be scaled up, a humanitarian catastrophe would follow. It had planned to assist 1.93 million people over the next six months in rural communities to prevent the hunger situation across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya from deteriorating.

The war in Ukraine has disrupted global supply chains and has sent the prices of food, fuel, and fertilizers to record-high levels.

The FAO food price index, which tracks global prices for a basket of commodities, reached an all-time high in February, and then again in March. The monthly growth (February-March 12.6%) was the second-highest in history (the index was founded in 1990). In April, the index stabilized slightly below its peak.

The increase was driven by the prices of cereals and vegetable oils, which soared due to the impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains. Russia and Ukraine are top exporters of cereals such as wheat, maize, and corn and vegetable oils like sunflower oil. Russia is also a top exporter of fertilizers.