Impact of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict on WFP Operations in Eastern Africa (July 2022)


Wheat and wheat products account for 25 percent of the average total cereal consumption in Eastern Africa with the highest consumption per capita in Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan. Up to 84 percent of wheat demand in the region is met by imports. Considering reliance on direct imports from Russia and Ukraine, rising global prices since the start of the war and significant internal challenges. Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan are likely to be the hardest hit by the ongoing conflict.

The Ukrainian Government banned the export of wheat, oats, millet, buckwheat and some other food products to forestall a food crisis and stabilize the market. The partial ban on wheat and grains by Russia effective 15 March through 30 June (read here) will further squeeze global supplies which in effect will cause shortfalls due to reduced imports of wheat in net importer countries. The shortfall might be partially compensated by other alternative products which would lead to increased demand for substitute products, pushing up prices of other cereals in the region.

Based on WFP’s calculations, access and availability of wheat-based products in Sudan is worrisome as almost 50 percent of wheat-based products are supplied by Russia and Ukraine while wheat domestically produced and current stocks alone are estimated to cover the domestic wheat demand for three months only.

With over 70 percent of total global production of sunflower oil originating from Russia and Ukraine, destabilized export trade, delays, and higher shipping costs will directly impact the global supply of sunflower-seed oil and consequently prices, further deepening vegetable oil supply chain woes experienced in the previous year.

Russia and Ukraine supplied 78 percent and 95 percent of sunflower-seed oil imports to Kenya and Sudan respectively.

Sudan is likely to be more vulnerable to anticipated conflictinduced trade disruptions once existing stocks of sunflowerseed oil are depleted.

Source: World Food Programme

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