There is no effective solution to the food crisis without reintegrating Ukraine’s food production — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of years of mass hunger and famine if a growing global food crisis goes unchecked as he urged Russia to release Ukrainian grain.
“It threatens to tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity, followed by malnutrition, mass hunger, and famine, in a crisis that could last for years,” Guterres said.
Before Russia invaded its neighbor in February 2022, Ukraine was seen as the world’s breadbasket, exporting 4.5 million tonnes of agricultural produce per month through its ports — 12% of the planet’s wheat, 15% of its corn, and half of its sunflower oil. But with the ports of Odesa, Chornomorsk and others cut off from the world by Russian warships, the supply can only travel on congested land routes that are far less efficient.
Guterres called on Russia to free up Ukrainian exports of grain.
“Let’s be clear: there is no effective solution to the food crisis without reintegrating Ukraine’s food production,” he said.
“Russia must permit the safe and secure export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports. Alternative transportation routes can be explored — even if we know that by itself, this will not be enough to solve the problem,” Guterres added.