Geneva, 17 March 2022 (TDI): The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently published a report assessing the effects of the war in Ukraine on international trade and development.

The UNCTAD predicts that Africa and the least developed nations will be the worst affected by the ongoing war. The report confirms that the world economy will get progressively worse throughout with areas like technology, investment, finance, and sustainable development taking a hit.

Food and fuel prices are set to reach new heights, financial volatility is at an all-time high. Shortages of semiconductor chips will continue to affect industries worldwide and will get even worse.

Russia and Ukraine are among the most important exporters of agri-food. Combined, these countries represent 58% of the world trade in sunflower oil while they account for 27% of the global wheat supply.

Many African countries including some least developed nations are heavily dependent on wheat from Russia and Ukraine. In many of these countries, the poorest households spend most of their income on food.

However, with rising food prices they are set to face terrible effects of the war. Many families will go into poverty. UNCTAD believes that 5% of what these households spend on will get expensive in the future.

Civil unrest in many developing and least developed countries is also a major cause for concern. Rising food and oil prices have caused shortages in many countries like Sri Lanka, where there are protests for the resignation of the current President.