Ethiopia ranks 9th globally in food inflation

Ethiopia ranks 9th in the world having high food price inflation according to the World Bank latest food security update.
The report indicates 10 countries with the highest food price inflation, in nominal and real terms, using the latest month for which data are available between April and July 2022.
Lebanon sat at the top having the highest nominal food inflation in the world with 332 percent followed by Zimbabwe 309, Venezuela 155, Türkiye 95, Sri Lanka 91, Iran 90, Argentina 66, Suriname 38, Ethiopia 38, and Moldova 34.
“Domestic food price inflation remains high around the world, with high inflation continuing in almost all low and middle-income countries and the share of high-income countries with high inflation increasing sharply,” reads the World Bank’s update.
Inflation continues to be a daunting macroeconomic challenge facing the Ethiopian economy over the past five year. Headline inflation hit a record 33.5 per cent in July year on year, while food inflation hit 45.5 percent.
Food inflation has notably increased faster than headline inflation over the past several years. The rising price of wheat, edible oil, and fertilizer in the global market in particular transmits to the local market since Ethiopia is dependent on the international market for import.
The impact of the Northern conflict, impact of COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, recurrent drought in Southern and Southeastern Ethiopia, and spikes in the global food prices mainly due to the war in Ukraine are putting multiple pressure on inflation and the Ethiopian economy.
Following the worst hunger crises in the greater Horn of Africa region in the last 70 years, according to the World Health Organization, trade openness and continuous movement of goods has been cited as vital for food security. In eastern Africa, the most traded commodities are maize and wheat. Other food staples that are traded and are essentials in the household food basket also include rice, sorghum, and sugar. Trade between countries in the region for the aforementioned commodities increased to above-average levels, such as exports from Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda to food-deficit countries including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Sudan. Furthermore, reduced rainfall and droughts have affected trade in other protein-rich food sources such as livestock.
The World Bank currently is helping countries boost food and nutrition security during the current crisis through the 2.3 billion dollar Food Systems Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa which helps countries in Eastern and Southern Africa increase the resilience of the region’s food systems and ability to tackle growing food insecurity. The program will enhance inter-agency food crisis response and also boost medium- and long-term efforts for resilient agricultural production, sustainable development of natural resources, expanded market access, and a greater focus on food systems resilience in policymaking.

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