The war between Ukraine and Russia will make the world’s hunger crisis even tougher to fight. The countries – one of which has traditionally been called Europe’s bread basket – are two of the world’s major suppliers of staple grains like wheat, and a protracted crisis increases the likelihood of supply interruptions and higher food prices for many people — including those who can least afford them.
Gallup data offer insight into the populations most likely to suffer from a prolonged disruption: People in countries reliant on wheat from Ukraine or Russia, where large segments of their populations were also struggling to afford food before the war broke out. Many of the countries on this list, including Egypt, Turkey and Kenya, are also dealing with political instability and conflict, situations only made worse when populations go hungry.
At the top of the list is Turkey which received a full 75% of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine in 2019, ranking it among the most dependent on sources from those countries. In 2021, a slim majority of Turks (51%) reported being unable to afford food in the past 12 months. Turkey’s current vulnerability may be further heightened by its lingering economic crisis and high levels of inflation.