Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blockade of its ports is having a direct impact on food crises around the world, say charities.
The World Food Programme has highlighted the impact on Somalia in particular.
Spokesperson Petroc Wilton said the war is making a terrible situation even worse. He said, “Food prices had already gone really, really high.”
“The concern now is that Ukraine is making these things worse, but also because of the impact that the Ukraine crisis has on jet fuel costs, (and) has on international shipping costs”
“So the real concern right now is that Ukraine will make an already serious situation so much worse”, he added.
Some 7.1 million people in Somalia face critically acute food insecurity in the next few months, including more than 200,000 who face catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Famine is looming.
“People are abandoning everything”, said Wilton, “traveling only with the possessions they can carry, and some animals and their family across sometimes days of travel, just to get to where they think they might get some assistance”.
The war in Ukraine threatens to turn a crisis into a catastrophe for hundreds of millions globally who depend on its grain.
Last year, its grain exports fed 400 million people worldwide. Very little is now leaving the country.
Russia is not just blockading Ukraine’s ports, it’s also accused of stealing its grain too. It was caught by satellite loading it into ships in the ports it’s occupied.
Grain is being illegally diverted from place like Kenya which is facing drought and hunger.
Around the world, the price of grain is rising, but fuel is also making it harder to get help for those who need it.
Russia is accused of weaponizing Ukraine’s grain supply. But Moscow remains unbowed by mounting international criticism.
There are diplomatic efforts under way led by Turkey to open up grain corridors through the Black Sea.
Without progress, the mass suffering caused by the war in Ukraine will continue being exported far beyond its borders.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES