AAPI Convention 2022

 

Global food security threatened by Ukraine war: Countries to meet to review urgent humanitarian needs

Cooperation between the US and India on averting a food crisis figured in talks between the leaders of the two countries last month. India is sitting on a wheat stockpile estimated at about 100 million tonnes, far in excess of a safety net

Arul Louis May 04, 2022
Image
Global food security threatened by Ukraine war (Photo: Earth.org)

The UN Security Council will initiate a debate on “Conflict and Food Security” in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine - which was called the “breadbasket for the developing world”- as countries like the US, India and others seek to work together to bring more food to depleted world markets.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is to hold a ministerial-level meeting in New York on action for global food security which is pushing several developing countries into “desperate hunger situations”, according to US Permanent Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield. The meeting will take place on May 18 on the eve of a Security Council debate as the US ramps up its campaign to forestall the war’s fallout in creating a food crisis, she told reporters on Tuesday after taking over as president of the Security Council.

A former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs who has also served on that continent, Thomas-Greenfield said, “I’ve seen starvation up close with my own eyes”. “We cannot look away from the millions who are worried about where they’ll find their next meal or how they’ll feed their families”, she said.  

The meeting “will include foreign ministers from many regionally diverse countries to review urgent humanitarian needs and take steps to build future resilience”, she said.  

While the looming crisis is being addressed at other fora, “our intent is to expand the circle, including both donors and countries most affected by the spike in food insecurity”, she said.

Ukraine was the “breadbasket for the developing world” but because Russia has “blocked crucial ports and destroyed civilian infrastructure and grain silos, desperate hunger situations in Africa and the Middle East are getting even more dire”, she said.

Cooperation between the US and India on averting a food crisis figured in talks between the leaders of the two countries last month. India is sitting on a wheat stockpile estimated at about 100 million tonnes, far in excess of a safety net. 

"Our countries are working together to try to bring more food to world markets, as well as to the World Food Programme", Blinken said after the ministerial meeting of him, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Jaishankar said that the looming food crisis also came up at the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden.

World Trade Organisation’s restrictions on exporting food procured by governments at support prices are one of the barriers to India, which is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat after China, from exporting more of its surplus.

Modi, who is now in Europe, said in Copenhagen that India is ready to provide food to mitigate the current crisis.

"The world is facing a new problem now; the food stock of the world is getting empty, I was talking to the US President, and he also raised this issue. I suggested that if WTO gives permission, India is ready to supply food stock to the world from tomorrow," he had said in India earlier.

"We already have enough food for our people but our farmers seem to have made arrangements to feed the world. However, we have to work according to the laws of the world, so I don't know when WTO will give permission and we can supply food to the world," Modi had said. 

(SAM)

Photo

Newsletter Subscription

The subscriber's email address.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook