G7, food security and MENA

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This article is featured in the ORIENT IV 2022

Food security has become one of the most critical challenges since the russian invasion of Ukraine due to the pivotal role of both countries in the global cereal trade. Import-dependent countries such as those in the Middle East and North Africa are especially highly exposed to food insecurity resulting from the dependence on Black Sea cereals. This article argues that food has become a geopolitical tool as a byproduct of the war in Eastern Europe. The G7 responded to the potentially dire consequences of food insecurity with an ambitious package of emergency aid and structural support for food system change in developing countries such as those in the MENA region. This could be a major opportunity for MENA countries since their food systems are increasingly unsustainable due to negative health impacts resulting from cheap, carbohydrate-rich diets.

Martin Keulertz is a lecturer in Environmental Management at the University of the West of England, Bristol, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor to the Food Security Programme at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Prior to this, he was the inaugural director of AUB’s Food Security Programme and a post-doctoral researcher at Purdue University in the US and Humboldt University in Germany.

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