UN: Mass World Hunger Awaits UsWorld | May 19, 2022, Thursday // 09:51| views
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres @Flickr
“A massive world hunger that will last for years threatens the world if Russia continues to block grain exports from Ukraine. Due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the growing global food crisis remains out of control”, warned UN chief Antonio Guterres.
“The war in Ukraine is compounding global food insecurity, which is already exacerbated by warming temperatures and the coronavirus pandemic”, Guterres said in a speech at a UN summit in New York.
“In just two years, the number of people with severe food insecurity has doubled - from 135 million before the pandemic to 276 million today, and more than half a million people are living in starvation, an increase of more than 500 percent since 2016”, said Guterres.
Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv exported 4.5 million tons of agricultural produce a month through its ports - 12 percent of the world's wheat, 15 percent of corn, and half of sunflower oil. Due to the occupied ports in Odessa, Chornomorsk, etc., exports are carried out through congested land routes, which are far less efficient.
Guterres called on Russia to release Ukrainian grain exports, adding that Russian food and fertilizers "should have full and unrestricted access to world markets." Russia is the world's leading supplier of key fertilizers and gas.
Fertilizers are not subject to Western sanctions, but sales have been suspended by measures taken against Russia's financial system.
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