International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned G20 leaders on Tuesday against allowing trade protectionism to "take root" and said fragmentation of the world economy into geopolitical blocs would significantly hurt growth.

In prepared remarks delivered at the G20 leaders summit, Georgieva said that 345 million people in the world were now suffering from a food crisis as a result of Russia's war in Ukraine, high inflation and climate disasters. She said G20 countries should "allow trade to do its job."

"Removing barriers, especially for food and fertilizers, can go a long way to counter the suffering of hundreds of millions of people," Georgieva said. "We must not allow protectionism to take root and the world to drift into separate blocs. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)