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The War’s Many Victims


Beyond Ukraine’s borders, far beyond the media spotlight, the war has launched a silent assault on the developing world. This crisis could throw up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of humanity — into poverty, destitution and hunger on a scale not seen in decades.


GS-II: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora

Dimensions of the Article

  • Impact of the war on the developing world
  • The Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance
  • Way Forward

Impact of the war on the developing world

  • Ukraine and the Russian Federation provide 30 per cent of the world’s wheat and barley, one-fifth of its maize, and over half of its sunflower oil.
  • Together, their grain feeds the poorest and most vulnerable people, providing more than one-third of the wheat imported by 45 African and least-developed countries.
  • At the same time, Russia is the world’s top natural gas exporter, and second-largest oil exporter.
  • But the war is preventing farmers from tending their crops while closing ports, ending grain exports, disrupting supply chains and sending prices skyrocketing.
  • The World Food Programme has warned that it faces the impossible choice of taking from the hungry to feed the starving.
  • It urgently needs $8 billion to support its operations in Yemen, Chad and Niger.
  • But while much of the world has stepped up in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, there is no sign of the same support for the 1.7 billion other potential victims of this war.

The Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance

  • The group aims to develop coordinated solutions to these interlinked crises, with governments, international financial institutions and other key partners.
  • On food, the group is urging all countries to keep markets open, resist hoarding and unjustified and unnecessary export restrictions, and make reserves available to countries at the highest risk of hunger and famine.
  • On energy, the use of strategic stockpiles and additional reserves could help to ease this energy crisis in the short term.
  • But the only medium- and long-term solution is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
  • And on finance, the G20 and international financial institutions must go into emergency mode.
  • They must find ways to increase liquidity and fiscal space, so that governments in developing countries can invest in the poorest and most vulnerable, and in the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Social protection, including cash transfers, will be essential to support desperate families through this crisis.
  • But many developing countries with large external debts do not have the liquidity to provide these safety nets.

Way Forward

The only lasting solution to the war in Ukraine and its assault on the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world is peace.

Source – The Indian Express

February 2024