Ukraine War and Pandemic Drive High Food Prices, Inflation, Global Finance Risks

World Leaders Gather for G20, IMF and World Bank Meetings

As world leaders descend for IMF, G20 and World Bank Meetings, the IMF forecasts high food prices, inflation and lower global growth due to the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

"The pandemic and Ukraine war are significantly hurting poor people who live in the poorest countries,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and a United Nations finance expert who has monitored IMF meetings since 2010. “The shock of the Ukraine war hits as most countries were still struggling with health and economic crises spurred by the pandemic.”

Inflation is a central concern in the World Economic Outlook report, with the war-driven high food and energy prices adding to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions. Another concern are lagging vaccination rates in poor countries that make virus mutations a continuing risk to the global outlook.

“We are failing to meet global vaccination targets and that means the coronavirus will persist all over the world." noted LeCompte. "We need better tools to deal with debt crisis and prevent future financial crises."

In its Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF discussed concerns on the war impacts on financial markets. The flagship report also underscored that energy and food security concerns put at risk efforts to halt climate change.

"The IMF is right that a solution to the multiple crises should include peace in Ukraine, aid to countries in need, addressing climate change and solving debt crises," stated LeCompte.

A full chapter of the report focuses on the risks stemming from high volumes of sovereign debt owed to banks.

“When these banks are based in a country facing a debt crisis, the crisis is more significant when you can't pay back the banks of your nation,” explained LeCompte.

Read Jubilee USA's Statement on the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here

Read the IMF Global Financial Stability Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's Statement on IMF World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read the full World Economic Outlook Report here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on Secretary Yellen's speech to the Atlantic Council here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on the creation of the Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) here.

Read Jubilee USA's press release on IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva's curtain raiser speech here.

Read Eric LeCompte's piece for Barron's on Ukraine here