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July 12, 2022

The war in Ukraine worsens food insecurity; Heatwaves and what they mean for the population

The war in Ukraine worsens food insecurity; Heatwaves and what they mean for the population

Today’s global news summary brings news from Ukraine, the UK, and Italy and discusses issues as diverse as the rise of food prices, extreme temperatures, and migrants and refugees. 

The war in Ukraine worsens food insecurity worldwide
Development

Deutsche Welle reports that according to findings from the German aid group Welthungerhilfe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may mean that there will be a dramatic shortfall in grain as well as other food shipments from the country. Whilst it looked at findings from 2021, the report also gave an outlook of the effects of the conflict in one of the world’s biggest grain exporters. It noted that “the situation had "dramatically worsened" in recent months.”

“The Russia-Ukraine crisis has seen world commodity prices soaring to their highest levels since 2008, adding propulsion to the existing Covid-driven upward spiral,” writes Ralitza Dimova in her opinion piece. According to her research wheat prices have gone up by 60% and sunflower oil costs have risen by 20-25% since the start of the war.

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Heatwaves and what they mean for the population
Environment | Demography, family, and gender

As reported by The BBC, extreme heat can cause dizziness, nausea, confusion, amongst many other issues, including blood pressure drops. As temperatures are predicted to go up to 30C in parts of the UK, the UK Health Security Agency has issued some tips as to how individuals can stay safe in the rising temperatures.

IZA World of Labor author Alan Barreca has explored how hot weather can also affect human fertility. In his article he notes that “hot weather causes a fall in birth rates nine months later.” “Evidence suggests that this decline in births is due to hot weather harming reproductive health around the time of conception,” he writes.

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Italy: Migrants and refugees are being relocated
Migration and ethnicity

Hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers from the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, Italy, were relocated after its refugee identification centre was overwhelmed with new arrivals. 30,000 refugees marked a stepped increase in arrivals this year, compared to 22,700 in the same period in 2021, with 7,500 in 2020 respectively. Aljazeera reports that “Lampedusa, which is closer to North Africa than mainland Italy, is often the destination of choice for Libyan-based migrant smugglers, who charge desperate people hundreds of dollars per person to cross the Mediterranean Sea on packed, dangerous dinghies and boats.”

Tim Hatton, IZA World of Labor contributor, has explored the benefits of harmonizing asylum policies. In his article, he writes that “viewing refugees as a public good provides a basis for cooperation among countries.”

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