IFSW member organizations are expressing deep concern about the lack of global attention to the hyperinflation of basic essential commodities and the broken trade supply chains. These include the accessibility and of affordability of basic essential commodities such as bread, clean water, fertilizers and fuel, leading to ‘inflation refugees’ and a likelihood of widespread starvation. The UN has also this week highlighted their concern and reported “a record 345 million acutely hungry people are marching to the brink of starvation” — a 25% increase from 276 million at the start of 2022 before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The number stood at 135 million before the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
IFSW members report that local communities are protesting, and in some instances, these are brutally suppressed by local police. The members have asked for international support, but not to identify their countries for fear that local social workers will be arrested. They note that these local situations are not featured in the global press and have asked IFSW to inform the profession’s international community and partnerships so that we can act on this issue together in the spirit of last week’s People’s Global Summit.
The People’s Charter, created from Summit included the need for global and local economic reform to create conditions for sustainability and security. The call was made for governments to invest in public wellbeing and take co-ownership with communities the process of transitioning economies away from measurement by profit, to sustainable wellbeing societies – an approach already being adopted by some governments, where inflation has been controlled.
IFSW members that want the profession to know more about their lived experience of the impact of this global crisis are encouraged to publicise the issues themselves when safe and share this information or write to the IFSW Secretariat to disseminate information, so they are not exposed to more risk.