Russia’s invasion has blamed 44 million people for marching famine and hunger – global problems

  • by Talif Dean (The united nations)
  • Inter press service

David Beasley, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP), said last week: “Currently, grain silos in Ukraine are full” as “44 million people around the world are marching to starvation.”

In terms of population, this represents the whole of Argentina.

“Bullets and bombs in Ukraine could bring the global hunger crisis to levels beyond anything we’ve seen before,” Beasley warned during a visit to the Polish-Ukrainian border.

“The world demands it because hundreds of millions of people around the world depend on these supplies. Our time is running out and the cost of the injection will be higher than anyone can imagine. I call on all parties involved to allow this food to leave Ukraine where it is desperately needed so that we can prevent the looming threat of famine.

Beasley warned that if the ports are not reopened, Ukrainian farmers will now have to store the next harvest in July / August. The result will be mountains of grain that will be wasted as the WFP and the world struggle to deal with the already catastrophic global hunger crisis.

A leading producer of grain, Ukraine had about 14 million tons in stock and available for export. But Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports has halted supplies. More grain is blocked on ships that cannot move due to the conflict.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters on May 3 that the United States chaired a Security Council meeting last March focused on the link between armed conflict and food security.

“Once again, we will focus on conflict as a driver of food insecurity.”

The United States, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, has scheduled an open debate for May 19 to explore “the link between conflict and food security.” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is expected to chair the meeting.

Daniel Nirenberg, president of Food Tank, told IPS Russia that the war against Ukraine and their war crimes will have consequences that will last for decades. Yields of major crops have already declined in many parts of the world due to the impact of the climate crisis and other conflicts.

“The war will only exacerbate the many crises facing the world – the crisis of biodiversity loss, the health crisis and the climate crisis.

“And because Ukraine and Russia have provided so much food – and cooking oil and fertilizers – to other parts of the world, including the Global South, there will be a huge hunger crisis,” she warned.

There is a chance that the war will accelerate the transition to more regenerative and local and regional food systems, which was necessary before the war. But in the meantime there will be a lot of suffering. Governments, NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders will need to take action now to prevent a food crisis, Nirenberg said.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna on May 11, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “I have been in intensive contact with the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Turkey and several other key countries to try to take food problems seriously. security “.

“But once again, I do not intend to announce any of the initiatives I have until they are effective, because if this becomes something to be discussed worldwide, I am sure we will not be able to achieve anything,” he said.

The WFP analysis found that 276 million people worldwide were already facing severe famine in early 2022. That number is expected to rise by 44 million if the conflict in Ukraine continues, with the sharpest increase in Africa. sub-Saharan Africa.

Daniel Bradlow, a professor of international development law and African economic relations at the Center for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria, told IPS that the war in Ukraine will have a devastating impact on Africa as many African countries import food and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine.

Therefore, the war will lead to rising food and fertilizer prices, as well as food and fertilizer shortages. The impact of the war will come in addition to extreme weather events – droughts, floods – in various parts of the continent, which will also have an adverse effect on food prices and supplies.

“In this way, there is likely to be an increase in the number of hungry people across the continent, which will have a tragic impact on children’s development and well-being.”

The only advantage in this dire situation is that it could lead people across the continent to increase their dependence on more local crops such as cassava, he said.

Hannah Saarinen, Oxfam’s political adviser on food, agriculture and land, said IPS’s global hunger was growing with the war in Ukraine as food prices skyrocketed.

“This is catastrophic for people living in countries heavily dependent on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine. “Countries like Yemen and Syria in the Middle East and Somalia and South Sudan in Africa, where we see people pushed to the brink of starvation,” she said.

The reason is a broken global food system, which is unable to withstand crises and is built on inequality. Much poorer countries are unable – and too often incapable – to produce enough food to feed their people. They must rely on food imports. This dependence is dangerous, she added. “Countries must refrain from using food export bans. They just do more harm. “States need to ensure that food can move quickly from one country to another.” “We need a food system that works for everyone. “One that can withstand shocks such as rapid food inflation and one that is built on local small-scale family farming,” she said.

Report to the IPS UN Bureau


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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter press service

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