Impacts of the Ukraine Crises on Food Security in Kenya and Ethiopia: Options for Regional Trade Collaboration

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Geda, Alemayehu
Philliph, Musyoka Michael
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African Economic Research Consortium
Global economic growth suffered a slowdown from two consecutive crises- Covid-19, which intensified in 2020, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis in 2022. With the effects of Covid-19 still lurking, the Russian-Ukraine crisis started in February 2022, disrupting international oil trade, agricultural inputs and food commodities, especially cereals, with outcomes that most likely put countries a step away from achieving Zero hunger by 2030. The African countries had modest effects from the Russian-Ukraine crisis; the effects have been both through non-agricultural (oil) and agricultural imports - especially fertilizers, wheat and wheat products. Global wheat prices immediately after the start of the crisis shot up from US$ 8 per bushel in March to US$ 11 per bushel (37.5% increase) and remained high through June 2022. It has since subsided to pre-crisis levels, but the effects on food security and welfare are still being felt. The spike in global wheat prices was occasioned by Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports, jolting the global supply in the international market. Russian-Ukraine war is still on, a year after, and most likely, the effects on food security and welfare are still manifesting (the recent Russian termination of the ‘Black Sea Grain Initiative; being a case in point). There could also be indirect effects through the rising fertilizer, which affects food welfare from the supply and cost side. This policy brief draws insights from a study on the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis conducted between January and June 2023.