April 1, 2023

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The international community has stepped up its efforts to tackle the food crisis

The international community has stepped up its efforts to tackle the food crisis

UN to stop World Bank $ 12 billion envelope and Ukrainian grain exports The international community has stepped up efforts to address the food crisis, which has worsened since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed at a US-led ministerial meeting in New York on Wednesday that “Russia must allow the safe and secure export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports.”

“Alternative modes of transport of these grains by sea, especially filling of pits in Odessa,” can be explored – even if we know it will not be enough to solve the problem “, he added.

Even before the war in Ukraine, food insecurity in the world had increased due to conflicts, climate and economic crises.

But the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has exacerbated the crisis, with both countries accounting for only 30% of the world’s wheat trade.

UN chief calls for ban on Ukrainian exports and “unrestricted access” to Russian food and fertilizer for world markets.

These fertilizers were not affected by Western sanctions against Moscow after the February 24 invasion of Ukraine, but Russia has decided to suspend their exports. According to diplomats, measures taken against the Russian financial system may prevent foreigners from buying them.

For their part, international financial institutions launched an “action plan” on Wednesday to work on “targeted work to meet immediate needs” to expedite existing plans.

The World Bank has announced that it will provide $ 12 billion over the next fifteen months, most of which will go to Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and countries in Central and South Asia. , The company said.

– “Clear Statements” –

The company explains that the envelope should support specific programs that support agriculture in these countries, “social security to minimize the effects of rising food prices” and promote water supply and irrigation programs.

Announced that it has $ 18.7 billion in unused dollars and that it will be dedicated to projects.

“In total, it has more than $ 30 billion to implement the fight against food insecurity over the next 15 months,” the World Bank said.

World Bank President David Malpas said, “Food inflation is having a devastating effect on the poor and the most vulnerable.

“In order to inform and stabilize markets, and in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, countries need to release clear statements on future production increases now,” he said.

– “Useless storage” –

It recommends “concerted efforts” by countries to not only help farmers increase planting and crop yields by increasing energy and fertilizer supplies, but also to eliminate policies that “prevent exports and imports (…) or promote unnecessary savings”.

In New York, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who chaired a cabinet meeting dedicated to the food crisis, underlined the United States’ commitment to combating famine and malnutrition.

Washington has released “extra $ 215 million” to fight food insecurity, he said.

According to Antonio Guterres, “in two years, the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity has doubled from 135 million before the Govt-19 epidemic to 276 million today.”

Last year, 193 million people in 53 countries were in severe food insecurity, which means the UN says they need urgent assistance to survive.

Affected by the exceptional heat wave, India is raising concerns as it seeks to ban its wheat exports to ensure food security for its 1.4 billion people.

On Monday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield stressed the need to unite countries to “consider which of them could help fill the wheat gap left by the conflict in Ukraine.”

According to her, the United States may be among these countries. Discussions are already underway with US farmers in this regard.

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