For poor countries already facing debt distress, a food crisis looms

The war in Ukraine could soon deliver a tragic blow to many of the world’s poorest countries: shutterstock_2138413595_food_crisis_1140x500many of the countries at greatest risk of a debt crisis are now grappling with the threat of a food crisis as well.  

Food-import bills are surging fastest for poor countries that are already in debt distress or at high risk of it , the World Bank’s latest data show. Over the next year, the tab for imports of wheat, rice, and maize in these countries is expected to rise by the equivalent of more than 1 percent of GDP. That is more than twice the size of the 2021-2022 increase—and, given the relatively small size of these economies, it’s also twice as large as the expected increase for middle-income economies.

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COVID-19 is hitting poor countries the hardest. Here’s how World Bank’s IDA is stepping up support

A year ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, I was optimistic about the trends in global ida_covidpoverty: extreme poverty rates had been steadily declining for more than two decades. Although considerable challenges like debt still loomed large for the poorest countries, the positive trajectory in the fight against poverty brought great hope for a better future—a future I still believe in.

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