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KUWAIT CITY, June 17: Signs of a global food crisis are emerging, represented by high prices and scarcity of quantities in specific commodities that receive many requests from all countries. Reliable sources told the Annahar daily that Kuwait, the first Arab in global indicators on the level of food security, has hedged well in this aspect and stressed Kuwait spends about 1.5 billion dinars on imported goods annually. The sources indicated that the country is expanding externally with large investments in the field of food security, especially in light of what the world has gone through amid the corona pandemic, in particular the scarcity of food supplies. Kuwait has developed a clear strategy, including investing abroad in areas that were traditionally considered arable as it adopted a diversification of the strategic vision for food security and set certain percentages of agriculture locally and abroad. In the midst of all this shipping costs raise commodity prices globally to record levels.
The Gulf countries are negatively affected by any potential food crisis especially as they are not producers of basic foodstuffs and import the largest proportion of food but the extent of the impact will vary from one country to another. Food prices are rising at the fastest monthly rate in more than ten years which sounds a warning bell about the danger of upcoming global crisis that will affect the most important sources of life, at a time when large and small countries are suffering from the economic, health and social repercussions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The rapid pace of price rises is a testimony of this situation in countries which are producing basic foodstuffs. Countries experiencing turmoil and wars will suffer the most, especially Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, while countries that enjoy subsidies will return to popular protests when countries do away with the subsidies while the Gulf countries will continue to suffer from the repercussions and bear additional costs.