• Women

Women Leaders Network Meeting on the Food Crisis

  • The Africa-Europe Foundation

On Thursday, 16 June, the AEF WLN will meet to discuss the current food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine.

Before the conflict in Ukraine, global food supply was already at risk: 44mn people around the world were on the brink of famine, and a further 232mn were at serious risk.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, food shortages for millions globally are now probable, rather than possible.

Russia and Ukraine supply almost one-third of total wheat exported globally. Russia alone supplies over half of the wheat imported by Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Sudan and Benin, the latter of which relies entirely on Russia for their grain. Ukrainian wheat is of similar importance in North Africa, where it accounts for nearly 20% of total wheat imports.

Both Ukraine and especially Russia are also major exporters of fertiliser. Fertiliser prices are now 2-3 times higher than in 2020, following sanctions and the closing of Black Sea ports.

Currently, around 22mn tons of grain are trapped in silos in Ukraine, which has put significant upward pressure on food prices on international markets.

The war in Ukraine will have repercussions on food systems many throughout Africa and Europe, but most especially on women on the frontlines of African agriculture.

As an initiative which aims to unlock new opportunities for action through an enhanced Africa-Europe partnership, the Women Leaders Network meets on average once a month under Chatham House rules allowing informal and trusted discussions across critical areas of inter-regional dialogue.