UN: Russians spend twice as much on food as before the war

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Russians spend an average of 40 percent of their disposable income on food – about twice as much as they did before the war in Ukraine, said the director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Russia office.

Russian government figures show that annual food inflation reached 18.75% on April 1, as the economy is hit by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine.

Oleg Kobiakov of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said that many households are now resorting to crisis strategies, as much of their income is spent on basic needs, such as food.

“People cancel plans like going to college or buying a house. They save in case they lose their job, in case they die,” he said.

The average household in the EU spends about 12% of its income on food, he added, adding that while Russia is not expected to starve, poorer households will face increased levels of food insecurity.

Western sanctions on Russia have barred its economy from much of world trade, cutting it off from parts of the global financial system, and pushing multinationals to sever ties with the country.

Many Russians have panicked over the war and are buying basic commodities such as sugar, fearing that prices will rise further, intensifying pressure on the government to reduce inflation.

Moscow is considering regulating prices for food, medicine and other goods and has temporarily banned some exports of agricultural products.

It also said it could price almost all of its exports in rubles.

Source: Capital

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