Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance
Debt has become a substantial burden for developing countries due to limited access to financing, rising borrowing costs, currency devaluations and sluggish growth. These factors compromise the countries’ ability to react to emergencies, tackle climate change and invest in their people and the future. The latest report, A World of Debt, discusses the actions needed to unleash the resources needed to build a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable world.
Rising energy prices, worsening cost-of-living crisis
Rising energy prices are accelerating the cost-of-living crisis and sustaining the vicious cycle of constrained household budgets, food insecurity, energy poverty, and rising social unrest. The crisis is deeply impacting vulnerable populations in developing countries, threatening hard-won gains in the access to energy.
Briefs & Reports
The GCRG will help decision-makers to mobilize solutions and develop strategies to help countries address the interlinked crisis with food, energy and finance.
Chair of the Global Crisis Response Group
Vicious cycle: Food and fuel prices, as well as tightening finance can have important effects on their own, but they can also feed into each other, creating vicious cycles of poverty, hunger and inequalities. This catastrophe has been years in the making, but since the war in Ukraine it has become unbearable for many countries.
The recent fall in commodity prices might have been influenced by bumper crops in Australia, Canada, Russia and the United States as well as by the optimism brought upon by the signing of the Black Sea Grain Initiative – a fundamental recommendation by GCRG – to reintegrate grains and sunflower oil from Ukraine into global markets and facilitate unimpeded access to food and fertilizers from Russia.
Black Sea Grain Initiative
The initiative was dubbed a “beacon of hope” by UN Secretary-General António Guterres when it was signed in Istanbul, Turkey, on 22 July 2022. Subsequently, a newly established Joint Coordination Centre was established to allow for significant volumes of commercial food exports to depart from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea, and paved the way for the first shipment to leave the port of Odesa on 1 August.
Energy policies to address the short-term emergency, including those that promote energy efficiency and equitable demand reduction, must ensure that countries keep their climate commitments. In the medium-to-long-term, the world needs to double down on renewables to meet net-zero goals, tackle energy poverty, and boost and diversify the global energy mix.
Despite a decline in commodity prices, inflation rates continue to accelerate in developing and least developing countries due to their levels of income and exposure to global financial shocks. Moreover, the threat of stagflation (low growth, high inflation) in 2022 and 2023 remains high because developing countries’ ability to cope with financial shocks are deteriorating despite falling commodity prices.
“For people around the world, the war [in Ukraine], together with the other crises, is threatening to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake. No country or community will be left untouched by this cost-of-living crisis.”
— António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Champions of the Global Crisis Response Group
Six eminent world leaders will champion and support the Secretary-General’s call for immediate action to avert the looming crisis. As the Champions of the Group, they will advocate and facilitate global consensus on actions to prevent, mitigate and respond to the crisis.
President of the Union of the Comoros
Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of Japan
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Prime Minister of Barbados
Prime Minister of Denmark
Chancellor of Germany
President of Indonesia
President of Senegal
Deputy-Secretary-General leading the Steering Committee
Background of the Group
The 32-member Group ensures high-level political leadership to get ahead of the immense inter-connected challenges of food security, energy, and financing, and implement a coordinated global response to the ongoing crises.
GCRG Task Team
Within the Group, three workstreams on Food, Energy and Finance will collate data and generate analysis, policy recommendations and solutions to support decision-making and advocacy for consideration of the Steering Committee. These workstreams will remain flexible and responsive to opportunities that seek to resolve immediate crisis and the vulnerabilities of people and countries. This Task Team is coordinated by Rebeca Grynspan.
Video: Crisis Response Group addresses global reverberations of Ukraine war
Co-leads of the workstreams
Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
George Gray Molina
Head of Strategic Engagement and Chief Economist of United Nations Development Programme
Chief Economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization
Strategic Director, Skills Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development
Executive Director of the International Energy Agency
Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL)