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Food crisis likely to continue in MEA countries
According to a new report, despite the introduction of tighter monetary measures, the level of inflation in the MEA area would stay "alarmingly high”.
Food insecurity in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is a growing challenge. It is anticipated that the region will continue to experience a crisis brought on by poverty, escalating geopolitical tensions, and rising food insecurity.
According to London-based data and analytics company GlobalData’s most recent report, Global Risk Report Quarterly Update – Q4 2022, out of 56 nations in the MEA region, two were found to be in the very low-risk zone, four in the low-risk zone, 11 in the manageable risk category, 21 in the high-risk category, and 18 in the very high-risk category.
Out of 153 countries, the MEA region included Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Angola, Mauritania, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Burundi, Chad, Libya, Mozambique, Yemen, and Syria in the list of the top 15 highest risk countries in the most recent update.
“The decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production can impact the profitability of oil-producing nations in the MEA region, which rely heavily on oil exports to drive their economies,” said Bindi Patel, economic research analyst at GlobalData.
Additionally, she noted that many MEA nations are reliant on food imports and that disruptions in the food supply chains brought on by events like the conflict in Syria and Ukraine, the drought in Kenya and other countries in the Horn of Africa, and other factors continue to pose serious problems for food security.
As a result of its disproportionate reliance on Russia and Ukraine for the importation of basic food items, the MEA region has reportedly been significantly impacted by supply chain disruptions and the subsequent increase in the price of key commodities like food and fuel.
Along with these ongoing issues, the region also deals with social unrest, food insecurity, and growing debt. As a result, in the Q4 2022 update, the region’s risk score rose from 54 to 54.3 out of 100.
Patel anticipated that despite the introduction of tighter monetary measures, the level of inflation in the MEA area would stay “alarmingly high,” with only a slight decline.
She further pointed out that in 2023, the region’s inflation rate is predicted to reach 18.7%, with particularly high rates expected in Egypt (23.3%), Iran (40.7%), Turkey (43.7%), and Nigeria (19.3%).
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