UN: Russia-Ukraine war threatens global food security

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the Russian-Ukrainian war threatens the food security of tens of millions of people. If Ukrainian food production cannot be restored to the pre-war level, the world may face large-scale famine and other problems in the next few years.

Russia and Ukraine are also the world’s largest grain exporters, and the outside world is worried that the war threatens the global food supply. Guterres revealed at a UN conference on global food security that because ports such as Odessa in southern Ukraine were cut off by the Russian army, food can only be transported by land, and the efficiency has dropped significantly.

Promoting safe export of Ukrainian food

Guterres said on Twitter yesterday that the Russian-Ukrainian war has left tens of millions of people facing years of food shortages, malnutrition, and even mass starvation.

He bluntly said that if the grain production in Ukraine cannot be restored to a scale, the food crisis cannot be effectively solved, and Russia must allow the grain stored in Ukrainian ports to be safely exported. He stressed that the world has enough food to feed all, but it needs to act in solidarity.

Guterres revealed that he is in contact with countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the United States and the European Union, and understands that although there is still a lot of work to be done, it is hoped that the problem will eventually be resolved. He declined to give details, saying publicity would reduce the chances of success.

Ukraine and Russia together export 30% of the world’s wheat, and before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, Ukraine exported 4.5 million tons of agricultural products through ports every month, including 15% of the world’s total production of corn and half of sunflower oil. Before the war, Ukraine was one of the largest food donors to the United Nations, providing enough food to feed 400 million people.

The 26-page “World Economic Situation and Prospects” report released by the United Nations on Wednesday (18th) also pointed out that the sharp rise in food and fertilizer prices triggered by the Russian-Ukrainian war has dealt a heavy blow to developing countries and exacerbated food insecurity and poverty.

The report lowered the global economic forecast for this year from 4% to 3.1%, and warned that the current 3.1% forecast still has significant downside risks due to the further intensification of the Russian-Ukrainian war and a new wave of epidemic factors.

Global inflation expected to rise to 6.7% this year

With food and energy prices soaring, the United Nations expects global inflation to rise to 6.7 percent this year, more than double the 2.9 percent average between 2010 and 2020. Guterres said that the Russian-Ukrainian war has triggered crises in various ways, disrupting the global energy market, disrupting the financial system, and exacerbating the vulnerability of developing countries.