$115.4 million is urgently needed to prevent further deterioration of the food insecurity situation and worsening of the disruption of food supply chains in Ukraine, says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The FAO Food Price Index averaged 159.3 points in March, up 12.6% from February when it had already reached its highest level since its inception in 1990.
The Index tracks monthly changes in the international prices of a basket of commonly-traded food commodities.
The latest level of the index was 33.6% higher than in March 2021.
The FAO Cereal Price Index was 17.1% higher in March than in February, driven by large rises in wheat and all coarse grain prices largely as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The Russian Federation and Ukraine, combined, accounted for approximately 30% and 20% of global wheat and maize exports, respectively, over the past three years.
World wheat prices soared by 19.7% during the month, exacerbated by concerns over crop conditions in the United States.
Meanwhile, maize prices posted a 19.1% month-on-month increase, hitting a record high along with those of barley and sorghum.
Contrasting trends across the various origins and qualities kept the March value of FAO’s Rice Price Index little changed from February, and thus it remains 10% lower than its level of a year earlier.
Also rising due to the situation in Ukraine is the Vegetable Price Index which saw a 23.2% rise.
The rise was driven by higher quotations for sunflower seed oil which Ukraine is the world’s leading exporter of.
Palm, soy and rapeseed oil prices also rose markedly as a result of the higher sunflower seed oil prices and rising crude oil prices, with soy oil prices further underpinned by concerns over reduced exports by South America.