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UN expert predicts global food crisis may be 10 weeks away

The food supply chain problems may last years, the expert warned

UN expert predicts global food crisis may be 10 weeks away
UN expert predicts global food crisis may be 10 weeks away | Shutterstock

May 23, 2022 3:27am

Updated: May 23, 2022 1:53pm

The world only has 10 weeks worth of grain left, the lowest levels ever seen, as Russia's invasion of Ukraine is creating a "seismic" threat to global food supplies, Gro Intelligence CEO Sara Menker told the United Nations Security Council.

"[T]he Russia-Ukraine war did not start the food security crisis. It simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning. A crisis we detected tremors from long before the COVID 19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our supply chains," Menker told the United Nations. Her software company, Gro Intelligence, uses human and artificial intelligence to predict food security and climate change. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a similar warning on Saturday. His country accounts for nearly 10% of the world's corn supply and together, Russia and Ukraine provide up to 30% of the global grain supply.

"Russia has blocked almost all ports and all, so to speak, maritime opportunities to export food – our grain, barley, sunflower and more. A lot of things," Zelensky said, according to Fox News.

"Now it will create a food crisis if we do not unblock the routes for Ukraine, do not help the countries of Africa, Europe, Asia, which need these food products," he added.

Menker told the UN, "It is important to note that the lowest grain inventory levels the world has ever seen are now occurring while access to fertilizers is highly constrained, and drought in wheat growing regions around the world is the most extreme it’s been in over 20 years."

She predicted that if action is not taken to ensure global food security, the consequences can be dire for the hundreds of millions of people who live on less than $3.60 a day.

"And it can get much worse. Data shows the food security challenges we face will last several years," she said.

"Without substantial immediate and aggressive coordinated global actions, we stand the risk of an extraordinary amount of both human suffering and economic damage. This isn’t cyclical, this is seismic. It’s a once in a generation occurrence that can dramatically reshape the geopolitical era," Menker stressed.

U.S. Rep. Austin Scott warned last month about the possibility of a global food shortage, Just the News reported.

"I'm concerned about the lower-income countries not having anything to eat," he said.