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Deal for Ukraine to re-export grains could improve world food prices, says WFP

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After Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey signed last Friday an agreement aimed at allowing the safe passage of ships entering and leaving three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which have been blocked by Russia since the invasion of Moscow on February 24, the World Food Program (WFP) was optimistic about the pact; nevertheless, warned that it alone will not solve the global food crisis.

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“We are optimistic that the agreement could lead to an improvement in world food prices. Countries dependent on grain supplies from the Black Sea would likely be the first to feel a positive impact,” a WFP spokesman told Reuters.

However, he added “that the current global food crisis is not a price crisis in itself, and that man-made conflicts, climatic shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to keep food prices high even if Friday’s deal holds, which is by no means a certainty.”

Ukraine and Russia together account for about 30% of world exports of cereals such as wheat, and the port blockade has trapped tens of millions of tons of grain in the country. This, along with Western sanctions on Russia, has pushed up energy and food prices, sparking protests in developing countries dependent on Black Sea grain.

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“The WFP itself has had to cut aid this year in key spots like Yemen and South Sudan due to global inflation and funding shortfalls, exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict,” Reuters notes.

With information from Reuters.

Source: Larepublica

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