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At UNSC meeting on Ukraine, US accuses Russia of causing global food crisis

Published on Mar 30, 2022 06:58 AM IST

Addressing the United Nations Security Council meeting (UNSC) on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on Tuesday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that Russian President Vladimir Putin created the global food crisis, and he is the one who could stop it.

The United Nations Security Council assembles for a meeting on humanitarian relief aid amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine in New York, on March 29, 2022. (Reuters photo)
Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

The United States has accused Russia of causing a global food crisis and putting people at the risk of famine by starting a war in Ukraine, which has entered its fifth week.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council meeting (UNSC) on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on Tuesday, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that Russian President Vladimir Putin created the global food crisis, and he is the one who could stop it.

"Putin started this war. He created this global food crisis. And he is the one who can stop it," Sherman said.

She said that the impacts of the ongoing war were being felt beyond Ukraine's borders as well, with some of the most dangerous implications for global food security.

“Russia's ceaseless bombardment of Ukraine's cities and critical infrastructure has created one of the fastest-growing humanitarian crises in recent decades,” Sherman added.

Highlighting that both Russia and Ukraine are major agricultural producers, the US Deputy Secretary of State also said, “30% of the world's wheat exports typically come from the Black Sea region, as does 20% of the world's corn and 75% of sunflower oil.”

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Wendy Sherman further accused the Russian Navy of blocking access to Ukraine's ports, cutting off exports of grain, and said the navy is preventing approximately 94 ships carrying food for the world market from reaching the Mediterranean.

As the Ukrainian exports are being blocked, Sherman added food prices are shooting up in low- and middle-income countries. "We are particularly concerned about countries like Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Morocco, which rely heavily on Ukrainian imports to feed their populations," she said.

Apart from the United States, the United Nations World Food Program also said that food prices are skyrocketing due to the war in Ukraine, which serves as a breadbasket for the world.

Before the war, the UN World Food Program was feeding around 125 million people.

At the UNSC meeting on Tuesday, David Beasley, the chief of the UN program, said that the agency started cutting rations due to the rise in food, fuel and shipping costs for millions of people globally.

Beasley said the war is decimating Ukraine, turning the breadbasket of the world into breadlines for millions of its people. Countries like Egypt and Ukraine, which majorly depend on Ukrainian grain, were also being devastated due to the war, he added.

(With agency inputs)

 

 

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