Malawian President and Sadc chairperson Lazarus Chakwera recently made a phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, asking for grain exports to low-income countries.

Africa is failing to feed itself, hence the continent with 1.3 billion people is begging for food from a war-ravaged country of 40 million people.

Meanwhile, the cascading global events of the 2020s seems to have no end in sight, notes the United Nations (UN).

The once-in-a-century pandemic (COVID-19) has been followed by the destructive Russian invasion in Ukraine, strong inflationary pressures around the world linked, ominously, to a surge in global food and energy prices.

As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared recently, “we are living the perfect storm caused by the tangled web of food, energy, and financial crises.”

This is not the first time the world has faced the threat of massive hunger and starvation following a spike in food prices. In 2007-2008 and in 2010-2011 food prices suddenly increased following a three-decade hiatus when food prices were stable and low.

However, according to the UN, the current shock is of a different magnitude: as the surge in food prices, reflected in the Food and Agriculture Organization´s Food Price Index, is the highest recorded since 1961 – even higher than the surge in the first half of the 1970s, during the infamous 1973 Oil Crisis.