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The World Food Program warns of a food crisis if we don’t act fast

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Famines, protests and mass migrations caused by a food availability crisis is the “catastrophe” predicted by the executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, if the current food price crisis is not resolved, which he calls a “perfect storm”.

Beasley, on an official visit to Ecuadorassured in an interview with Efe that the opening of the Ukrainian ports to export its cereals is “a great advance”, but it is only one of the many things that must be done to prevent hunger from spreading globally next year by droughts and fuel and fertilizer prices.

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“If we don’t have support and we don’t do anything else, we will spread hunger, destabilization and mass migration. We need the funds to do it,” she warned.

They warn that the agricultural sector in Latin America may worsen due to the war in Ukraine and covid-19

The director of the WFP of the United Nations affirmed that he is asking the leaders of each country to do everything they can to increase productivity and called for “act fast”.

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“Few people are aware that before the war in Ukraine we were already facing the biggest food and humanitarian crisis since World War II, with covid-19, economic devastation around the world, a lot of conflicts and the price of fuel. up,” Beasley recalled.

“And then, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Ukraine, the world’s food basket, a nation that grows enough food to feed 400 million people, is left out of the market, at the peak of the economic decline from covid. -19 and with other issues like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Syria and Yemen… it is an absolute perfect storm that created a crisis of catastrophic proportions,” he added.

Inhabitants in Sana’a, Yemen, receive food aid, in a file photograph. EFE/EPA/Yahya Arhab

Relief in Ukraine

Beasley explained that, from the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he asked Russian President Vladimir Putin not to block Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea to prevent famine from spreading and even a declaration of war against security. food.

Finally, last week an agreement was reached for Russia to allow the export of cereals from Ukraine, something that Beasley said will have an absolutely positive impact and an immediate relief in food prices.

The WFP alone expects to mobilize 150,000 tons of food from Ukraine in the next two weeks, since 50% of the purchases made by this UN agency last year came from that country to feed 130 million people in the world.

The director of the WFP also recalled that, before the war, Ukraine and Russia jointly produced wheat for 30% of the world’s population, corn for 20% and supplied between 75% and 80% of world sunflower consumption.

“When you remove these products from the market, added to the fertilizers, the market devastates prices around the world and each country suffers the consequences. We are in this together and that is why we have to push to solve this war”, he pointed out.

A combine harvests wheat in a field near Kharkov, Ukraine, on July 30, 2022. EFE/Sergey Kozlov

hunger grows

Beasley hoped that the success of the first grain shipments from Ukraine would continue in the coming weeks and months, but insisted that “we still have issues to address such as droughts, fertilizer prices and food shortages.”

He explained that five years ago there were 80 million hungry people in the world, and that number rose to 135 million before the covid-19 crisis, but with the pandemic it grew to 276 million and now with the Ukraine war it jumped to 345 million.

“We must move quickly to fix these issues and calm the markets. Otherwise we will have famine, destabilized nations, mass migration, and I can assure every leader in the world that the cost then will be a thousand times more expensive than tackling the problem now,” he added.


Like the Titanic before the iceberg

The former governor of South Carolina considered that this catastrophe can be avoided if the necessary funds are obtained, such as the 5,000 million dollars committed by the United States to fight hunger in the next five years.

“The problem is so big that we cannot look the other way. I am telling leaders to be strategic in allocating resources. It’s like the iceberg in front of the Titanic. Don’t worry about the broken wine bottle at the bar. Worry about that iceberg, and that iceberg is global food security,” Beasley reiterated.

“If we can put programs to support people in poverty into the safety net, we will stabilize nations and prevent famine. It is never too late, but at the same time we all have to get going, ”she concluded. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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