Russia-Ukraine war threatening developing economies, warns UN

Russia-Ukraine war

A U.N. task force is warning in a new report that Russia’s war against Ukraine threatens to devastate the economies of many developing countries that are now facing even higher food and energy costs and increasingly difficult financial conditions.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the report Wednesday stressing that the war is supercharging a crisis in food, energy, and finance in poorer countries that were already struggling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and a lack of access to adequate funding for their economic recovery.

Rebeca Grynspan, secretary-general of the U.N. agency promoting trade and development who coordinated the task force, said 107 countries have severe exposure to at least one dimension of the food, energy, and financial crisis, and 69 countries are severely exposed to all three and face very difficult financial conditions with no fiscal space, and with no external financing to cushion the blow.

The report urges countries to ensure a steady flow of food and energy through open markets, and it calls on international financial institutions to do everything possible to ensure more liquidity immediately.

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