Urgent appeals to the UN to fight food insecurity | War in Ukraine

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Calls emergency to UN to fight food insecurity | War in Ukraine

View of the UN General Assembly during the speech by its Secretary General, Antonio Guterres

Faced with the emergency, world leaders on Tuesday called for renewed efforts to tackle growing food insecurity around the world, exacerbated by a convergence of crises, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lack of fertilizers.

Gathered on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, the States the United States, the European Union, the African Union as well as Spain and Colombia co-chaired a meeting in which they called for addressing the challenge posed by this food insecurity, itself a factor instability.

The meeting came in the wake of the G7 in June, where major powers pledged nearly $5 billion to tackle food insecurity.

It there is no peace with hunger and there is no fight against hunger without peace, summed up Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, while his German counterpart, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, called for action with a sense of urgency.

US President Joe Biden, who will address the UN on Wednesday, is expected to announce new US aid there, said his Secretary of State Antony Blinken, one of the hosts of the meeting.

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In his speech to the UN on Tuesday, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France would finance the evacuation of Ukrainian wheat to Somalia, a country threatened by famine .

Among the crisis factors: the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted distribution channels, climate change and the war in Ukraine, as officials on Tuesday accused Russia of putting food security at risk. /p>

The truth is that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is blackmailing the international community by using the food weapon, Mr. Sanchez denounced.

The United States has made food security a diplomatic priority, not without political ulterior motives, by targeting the responsibility of Russia. On the other hand, many countries in the South are also pushing this theme in the broader context of the climate crisis and energy prices.

Leaders underlined the vital nature of the so-called Black Sea agreement, which allows the transport by ship of Ukrainian cereals on which many countries in the Middle East and North Africa depend.

This agreement, signed by Russia and Ukraine and validated by the United Nations and Turkey in July, allowed the resumption of the export of Ukrainian cereals through a secure corridor.

< p class="e-p">Contrary to the disinformation coming out of Moscow, these grains and other food products are going where they need to be, to the most vulnerable countries, globally in the South, assured Mr. Blinken . The deal has also brought prices down and needs to be renewed urgently, he said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has contributed to worsening food shortages facing some of the world's poorest countries.

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According to a US report by the Conflict Observatory, around 15% of Ukraine's grain storage capacity has been lost since the war began in February latter, with adverse effects for global food security.

These considerable losses call into question the ability of Ukraine to maintain its role as the breadbasket of many countries, which depend on it for their supplies of wheat, corn and sunflowers.

It is clear that the current disruption of food supply chains and the war in Ukraine are going to have an impact on the upcoming harvests. There are one to two harvests a year and we are already seeing it, previously warned Alvaro Lario, who chairs the International Fund for the Development of Agriculture (IFAD), insisting on the question of fertilizers whose Russia is a major producer.

It's going to be devastating next year […], possibly worse than during COVID, he said Monday to AFP.

In a report released in July, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) , the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), UNICEF, the World Food Program (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) ensured that between 702 and 828 million people [ had] been affected by hunger in 2021, or 9.8% of the world's population.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned: If we don't stabilize There's no fertilizer market in 2022, there just won't be enough food in 2023.

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