Going up: The human costs of rising prices


01. Going up: The human costs of rising prices

In the first episode of the Weekly Tradecast, UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan talks about the global cost-of-living crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine and what can be done to help vulnerable countries and people who will suffer the most from rising food, energy and fertilizer prices.

Ms. Grynspan talks about what can be done to help developing countries, many of which are still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and are highly exposed to the effects of climate change.

“Developing countries used all their resources to face the pandemic – their savings, their fiscal space, their monetary policy, their safety nets,” Ms. Grynspan said.

“So, when this other crisis comes and hits them again, they are in a weak position.”

1.6 billion people in 94 countries exposed 

The UN Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) on Food, Energy and Finance warned in a recent report that an estimated 1.6 billion people in 94 countries are exposed to at least one dimension of the cost-of-living crisis.

The crisis threatens to unleash an unprecedented wave of global hunger and destitution.

The brief recommends immediate actions on two critical fronts to address the crisis - the urgent need for stability in the global food and energy markets to break the vicious cycle of rising prices and the imperative to bring relief to developing countries.

It calls for resources to be made available immediately to help the poorest countries and communities.

UNCTAD coordinates all three workstreams of the GCRG: food, energy and finance. It co-leads the workstream on finance.