As a global food crisis looms, Convoy of Hope continues to provide for those who are --- and will be --- the most affected. In addition to the commitment to distribute 50 million meals to Ukrainians across Europe, Convoy is working with its worldwide network of partners to bring food to the hungry, opportunities to the vulnerable, and hope to the destitute.
Leaders from around the world are warning that, collectively, the war in Ukraine, extreme weather, and rising food prices could create a crisis that will affect billions of people. Since the war in Ukraine began, world market prices have risen 89% for products like maize, soybeans, and wheat.
"We've got to start producing food in the here and now to prepare for the future," said David Vanderpool, Convoy of Hope's Global Food and Agriculture Specialist. "People fleeing the war are running from a desperate situation. They need food, not just to be healthy but also to have hope. Food is one of the best forms of hope that we can have. When you have a full stomach, you can plan for the future."
Global food crisis: urgent needs
The most pressing crises exacerbating this problem include the following.
- Ukraine and Russia accounted for 20% of the world's exports of maize and wheat in 2021. But with the war, hopes for the 2022 harvest are not high. Even if farms yield crops, exporting them may be difficult or impossible with blocked and damaged ports.
- Countries that rely heavily on imported crops will feel the brunt of the blow. For example, Lebanon --- a country facing a years-long economic crisis and a 90% loss in the value of its currency --- receives 80% of its wheat from Ukraine.
- After 18 months of devastating drought, the Horn of Africa --- Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia --- is now plagued by food insecurity, water shortages, and a sharp increase in the cost of necessities.
Convoy has plans in placeto avert a hunger crisis in communities around the world. Teams are actively working with a logistics partner to build two large greenhouses in northern Romania. Preparations for the builds are happening this week. Future harvests will be used to feed Ukrainian families, both in Romania and Ukraine.
Convoy is providing food, water, seeds, and farming equipment to drought-affected communities in the Horn of Africa. Convoy is also implementing school gardens to provide nutritious food and life-changing education to local students and is assisting farmers with agriculture training.
Already in 2022, Convoy has 33 active responses to disasters and crises, 16 of which are new. Since its inception, Convoy has responded to nearly 600 disasters around the world.