The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Ukraine war stokes global food crisis that could last years, says UN.

The United Nations has warned the Russian invasion of Ukraine has stoked a global food crisis that could threaten tens of millions of people and last years.

UN secretary-general António Guterres said on Wednesday he was in “intense contact” with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the US and the European Union in an effort to restore Ukrainian grain exports.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused global prices for grains, cooking oils, fuel and fertiliser to soar, and Mr Guterres warned this will worsen food, energy and economic crises in poor countries.

“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,” Mr Guterres said.

Addressing a food security meeting at the UN hosted by US secretary of state Antony Blinken, Mr Guterres appealed to Russia to allow “the safe and secure export of grain stored in Ukrainian ports” and for Russian food and fertilisers to “have full and unrestricted access to world markets”.

“I am hopeful, but there is still a way to go,” said Mr Guterres, who visited Moscow and Kyiv late last month. “The complex security, economic and financial implications require goodwill on all sides.”

Ukraine used to export most of its goods through seaports but since Russia’s February 24th invasion, it has been forced to export by train or via its small Danube river ports.

UN food chief David Beasley appealed to Russian president Vladimir Putin: “If you have any heart at all, please open these ports.” Mr Beasley heads the World Food Programme, which feeds some 125 million people and buys 50 per cent of its grain from Ukraine.

“This is not just about Ukraine. This is about the poorest of the poor who are on the brink of starvation as we speak,” Mr Beasley said.

Russia and Ukraine together account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies. Ukraine is also a major exporter of corn, barley, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil, while Russia and Belarus – which has backed Moscow in its war in Ukraine – account for more than 40 per cent of global exports of potash, a crop nutrient.

Mr Blinken said Russia must be compelled to create corridors so that food and other vital supplies can safely leave Ukraine by land or sea. “There are an estimated 22 million tons of grain sitting in silos in Ukraine right now. Food that could immediately go toward helping those in need if it can simply get out of the country,” Mr Blinken said.

The UN has said 36 countries count on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world, including Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mr Guterres spoke with Russia’s first deputy prime minister Andrei Belousov on Tuesday about Russian exports of fertilizers and grains, said Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia.

“The discussions, as far as I know, went well and positive,” Mr Nebenzia told reporters on Wednesday, but he signalled that Ukrainian access to international markets was a separate issue. “We are prepared to do our share. The Ukrainian grain market access, that’s another thing,” Mr Nebenzia said. – Reuters

Останні новини
Video Shows #ChuckECheese Mascot Appearing To Ignore Black Child.

Video Shows #ChuckECheese Mascot Appearing To Ignore Black Child.

Chuck E Cheese’s corporate office said the company was "deeply saddened" after a family posted a video showing its mouse #mascot appearing to ignore a Black child during a party at a #NewJersey location. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC v...

How and who should decide when a life is over?

How and who should decide when a life is over?

Sky's Adele Robinson looks at both sides of the argument as to who and if someone should be able to decide the fate of a person's life. The family of Archie Battersbee has been told the 12-year-old will have his life support withdrawn, but is it r...

Backflipping Umpire Becomes A Hit At Softball Games In Minnesota.

Backflipping Umpire Becomes A Hit At Softball Games In Minnesota.

Louis Williams IV is an umpire for the Minnesota Girls 10 and Under State Softball Tournament. Williams is known for calling games unlike any other, lifting up kids on the field and lighting up their families in the stands. Williams is even known ...

Palestinian House Hit by Israeli Airstrike in Gaza

Palestinian House Hit by Israeli Airstrike in Gaza

️ Emergency services deploy and people inspect the damage after an Israeli airstrike hit a house in the Gaza Strip, August 6, 2022. Israel unleashed a wave of airstrikes in Gaza on Friday, killing at least 10 people, including a senior militant, a...

FBI director acted like ‘Mr. Magoo’ during testimony: Miranda Devine

FBI director acted like ‘Mr. Magoo’ during testimony: Miranda Devine

Fox News contributor Miranda Devine criticizes FBI Director Christopher Wray's testimony on alleged bias in the Hunter Biden probe. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a...

The Future Of Touch And Smell In Virtual Worlds

The Future Of Touch And Smell In Virtual Worlds

Carnegie Mellon’s Future Interfaces Research Lab shows NBC News’ Gadi Schwartz how new technology tricks your brain into thinking you are touching, feeling and interacting with things that are not physically present. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Wat...