Why Is the World Facing a Food Crisis? And Why Are Prices Climbing So High?
Play • 30 min

The world is facing rising food prices that are hitting poor and developing countries hardest. Even before COVID-19 reduced incomes and disrupted supply chains, chronic and acute hunger were on the rise due to factors, including conflict, socio-economic conditions, natural hazards, climate change and pests. 

The disruption caused by the war in Ukraine has added to price pressures, with costs likely to remain high for the foreseeable future and expected to push millions of additional people into acute food insecurity.

In this episode of The Development Podcast, World Bank Food and Agriculture Global Practice Manager Julian Lampietti explains the challenges and discusses some of the solutions. And we hear from a pizza restaurant owner in Cairo who is struggling with the rising cost of bread.


[00:00] Welcome and introduction of the topic

[01:32] What's happening in terms of agriculture and food in the world right now

[06:47] Visions from Cairo: Food costs, supply chains, local business... and pizza

[13:08] A human catastrophe? Food price crisis related to the war in Ukraine

[14:21] Availability issues, people's access to food, or the production of food?

[18:05] Food prices: How the situation could evolve in the short term

[19:22] Lessons learnt from previous food price crisis

[24:07] Investments in agricultural and food technologies

[27:45] How the World Bank is responding to this crisis

[29:32] Closure and thanks for tuning!

Featured voices

  • Julian Lampietti, Manager for Agriculture & Food Global Practice, World Bank Group: "The war in Ukraine just accelerated what was already happening, we have this food system that feeds us and it's wonderful but it's also destroying the planet as it does that. And it's getting more and more unstable."
  • Dareen Akkad, restaurant owner in Cairo, Egypt: "One of the ways that we have to plan is to find products that we can create that rely less heavily on imports and more so on locally grown ingredients or let's say even if it's locally processed ingredients."


This international development podcast brings together the data, research—and solutions—that can pave the way to a sustainable future. Through conversations focused on revealing the latest data, the best research, and cutting-edge solutions, let us introduce you to the folks working to make the world a better place. Don't miss an episode! Listen and subscribe for free on your favorite platform.


The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for low-income countries. Its five institutions share a commitment to reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development.

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