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Ghana among top 10 countries with highest food inflation – World Bank report

Ghana is facing a serious food inflation crisis, as it ranks among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest increase in food prices, according to a new report by the World Bank.

The report, titled Food Security Update: World Bank Response to Rising Food Insecurity, shows that Ghana’s nominal food inflation (year-on-year) was 54% as of May 2023, placing it at the eighth position globally.

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Its real food inflation (year-on-year), which takes into account the overall inflation rate, was 12%, placing it at the ninth position.

The report attributes the high food inflation in Ghana and other low- and middle-income countries to various factors, such as supply chain disruptions, currency depreciation, fuel price hikes, weather shocks, and COVID-19 pandemic impacts.

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The report warns that high food inflation could worsen poverty, hunger, and malnutrition among vulnerable populations.

The report also provides data on global food commodity prices, which have increased significantly since January 2021. The report notes that maize and wheat prices rose by 12% and 14%, respectively, in July 2023, while rice prices remained stable.

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On a year-on-year basis, maize and wheat prices were 15% and 17% lower, while rice prices were 16% higher.

The report also highlights the state of global hunger and food insecurity, citing the latest edition of the State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other UN agencies.

The report estimates that around 811 million people suffered from chronic hunger in 2020, an increase of 118 million from 2019. The report also projects that around 660 million people will still face hunger by 2030, even if current trends are reversed.

The report also discusses the challenges and opportunities that urbanization presents for food systems, especially in Africa and Asia. The report argues that urbanization can create new markets and jobs for rural producers and processors, as well as improve access to diverse and nutritious foods for urban consumers.

However, urbanization can also pose risks for food security and nutrition, such as increased dependence on food imports, exposure to price shocks, loss of agricultural land, and environmental degradation.

The report also mentions the recent interruption of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI), an agreement among Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN to facilitate the safe transportation of grain and foodstuffs from Ukrainian ports amid the ongoing war.

The report expresses concern about the potential impact of Russia’s withdrawal from the BSGI on global food markets and prices, as Ukraine is one of the world’s largest grain exporters.

The report concludes by outlining the World Bank’s response to rising food insecurity, which includes providing financial and technical support to countries to address immediate and long-term challenges.

The report also calls for more coordinated and inclusive actions from all stakeholders to transform food systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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