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

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Geda, Alemayehu
Musyoka, Michael Philliph
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African Economic Research Consortium
The world economy experienced a slowdown in growth as from 2018 driven by the negative effects of the novel corona virus. Short-term policy responses and the global slowdown have had major impacts on growth, value chains, incomes, trade, poverty, and consumption. Sub-Saharan Africa suffered modest effects of the pandemic and is recovering from the slowdown. This recovery is, however, likely to be affected by the Russian-Ukraine war. The years running up to the COVID-19, Ethiopia and Kenya, like all other developing countries, were a step behind in achieving equitable access to food for all. Now, the effects of the COVID-19 are still lurking, and the Russian-Ukraine war put the two countries steps away from ensuring equitable access to food for all; and in both countries, ravaging drought and high inflation is likely to exacerbate poverty and food insecurity, demeaning the gains made towards SDG 2: Zero Hunger by 2030. The impacts of rising poverty and reduced livelihoods are reflected clearly in rising levels of food insecurity and decreasing diet quality. For example, in Kenya, the national poverty head count ration increased by 13 percentage points, from 28.9% in the pre COVID-19 (2019) to 41.9% in 2020, with income losses more pronounced in urban than rural areas (Nafula et al., 2020). The estimation for Ethiopia also shows that the poverty rate has increased by 10 (in mild scenario) to 15 percentage points or by about 15 million people (worst scenario) due to the COVID-19 effect (Alemayheu, 2021