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International financial institutions call for urgent action on food security amid war

Major international financial institutions called Wednesday for urgent action on food security amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

In a joint statement, the heads of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) called on the international community “to urgently support vulnerable countries through coordinated actions ranging from the provision of emergency food supplies, financial support, increased agricultural production, and open trade."

They also called on the international community to support vulnerable countries through grants to cover their urgent financing needs.

"The fallout of the war in Ukraine is adding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that now enters its third year, while climate change and increased fragility and conflict pose persistent harm to people around the globe," they said.

"The threat is highest for the poorest countries with a large share of consumption from food imports, but vulnerability is increasing rapidly in middle-income countries, which host the majority of the world’s poor," they added.

The institutions said the price increase in natural gas, a key ingredient of nitrogenous fertilizer, led to surging fertilizer prices.

"We are committed to combining our expertise and financing to quickly step up our policy and financial support to help vulnerable countries and households as well as to increase domestic agricultural production in, and supply to, impacted countries," the statement said.

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