Global impact of the war in Ukraine: Billions of people face the greatest cost-of-living crisis in a generation

Global Crisis Response Group, Brief No. 2

A war is always a human tragedy, and the war in Ukraine is no exception. The ripple effects of the conflict are extending human suffering far beyond its borders.

The war, in all its dimensions, has exacerbated a global cost-of-living crisis unseen in at least a generation, compromising lives, livelihoods, and our aspirations for a better world by 2030.

The largest cost-of-living crisis of the twenty-first century has come when people and countries have a limited capacity to cope. The war in Ukraine has trapped the people of the world between a rock and a hard place.

The rock is the severe price shocks in food, energy and fertilizer markets due to the war, given the centrality of both the Russian Federation and Ukraine in these markets.

The hard place is the extremely fragile context in which this crisis arrived; a world facing the cascading crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

A shock of this magnitude would have been a significant challenge no matter the timing; now, it is of historic, century-defining proportions.


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Author: United Nations.
8 Jun 2022