Pakistan has been facing horrible flooding for two weeks now after a torrential monsoon. The Pakistani ambassador to the UN says the floods will limit the country’s economic growth this year, especially hard hit is the agricultural industry. Meanwhile, Russia has been facing the worst drought in fifty years, seriously limiting its grain crops. With inflation in food prices already predicted for many countries dealing with economic crisis, weather could very well be a player in economic leader’s decisions for months ahead.
A few weeks ago Russia announced a ban on the export of feed grain wheat and barley out of their country. They are the second largest wheat exporter in the world. This sent wheat futures upward in many countries. It also affected futures of wheat milling grain as well as corn futures as investors believed corn would face higher demand as wheat supplies lessened.
It is estimated that 1/4 of the Russian grain crops are already lost due to the drought and wildfires. The price of bread has already risen 20 per cent in Russia.
In America, record weather heat across the country has effected crop problems there as well. Drought in some areas, wildfires, and a slow growing season will affect the nations harvests.
In Africa, the heaviest rainfall in forty years in the area of Chad has left the majority of its crop fields flooded. China has been experiencing massive flooding and mudslides.
As countries face major natural catastrophes due to weather, it takes a toll on those countries, as well as on those that give aid assistance. Many times the costs in aid can amount to 100′s of millions of pounds. For countries that are already experiencing financial hardships in their own countries the aid is a financial burden to taxpayers and yet relief must be given.
The impact on the weather to agricultural crops this year will be major since it has affected so many in different areas of the world.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick said it is estimated that the floods in Pakistan have destroyed about $1 billion worth of crops. Wheat, cotton, and sugar crops have all been impacted.
Over 1,600 people have been killed in the Pakistan flooding. Six million people are without clean drinking water and the first case of cholera has been confirmed. The government has warned that more flooding is expected and UN workers have called on the world to give aid quickly.