The UN food chief warned on Tuesday that the conflict in Ukraine threatens to derail the World Food Program’s efforts to feed some 125 million people worldwide as Ukraine has gone “from the world’s grain bin to a living wage”.
“Not only is it dynamically decimating Ukraine and the region, but it will have an impact on the global context beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley told the 15-member United Nations Security Council .
Beasley said 50% of the grain purchased by WFP, the United Nations Food Assistance Division, comes from Ukraine, “so one can only imagine the devastation this alone will have on our farms.”
“The farmers are at the forefront,” he said.
Beasley added that the crisis was exacerbated by shortages of fertilizers from Belarus and Russia.
“If you don’t fertilize the plants, your yield will be reduced by at least 50%. So we’re looking at what could be another disaster in the coming months,” he told the council.
Ahead of Russia’s February 24 invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Beasley said WFP was already struggling with high fuel, food and transportation costs, forcing it to cut rations for millions of people in places like Yemen.
Beasley warned that if the conflict in Ukraine is not ended, “the world will pay a heavy price, and the last thing we want to do is that the World Food Program is taking food from starving children to give to starving children.”
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia dismissed allegations that Moscow’s actions in Ukraine caused the “serious turmoil” in the global food market, instead blaming Russia for Western sanctions.
Russia is calling its invasion a “military special operation” aimed at destroying Ukraine’s military infrastructure.
The 193-strong UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly deplored Russia’s “aggression” and called on Russia to withdraw its troops.
US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the council’s sanctions would not fuel the global food crisis.
“Responsibility for leading the conflict in Ukraine and for the conflict’s impact on global food security rests solely with President Putin,” Sherman said.
With Ukrainian farmers on the frontline, UN food chief warns of ‘devastation’ – SABC News
Source link With Ukrainian farmers on the frontline, UN food chief warns of ‘devastation’ – SABC News