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Russia-Ukraine war could push 11-19mn into hunger worldwide: FAO

Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine has a significant impact on the global food markets and could leave an additional 11 to 19 million people with chronic hunger, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) warned.

FAO spokesperson Boubaker Ben Belhassen told reporters that the two warring nations are major producers of agricultural commodities in the world, with a combined share of around 30 per cent of global wheat exports, reports Xinhua news agency.

The countries impacted most by the conflict are in the north African region, he said.

The spokesperson cited the FAO's latest food outlook report, which pointed to a likely tightening of food commodity markets in 2022 due to the "soaring input prices, concerns about the weather, and increased market uncertainties".

Belhassen said that higher international food prices are projected to increase global food import bills to a record $1.8 trillion in 2022.

"Higher import bills mainly reflected higher unit costs rather than higher volumes, with many countries, especially the economically vulnerable ones, set to face higher bills while importing smaller volumes," he added.

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