Countries must ‘act together, urgently and in solidarity’ to end the food insecurity crisis – Global Issues

During the global ministerial meeting on hunger at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Secretary General António Guterres says the number of people with severe food insecurity has doubled in just two years – from 135 million before the pandemic to 276 million now, with more than half a million people experiencing hunger – an increase of more than 500% since 2016.

Grandfather speak. “If we don’t feed everyone, we will create conflict“.

Activation of hunger

The climate emergency is another cause of global hunger, he said, adding that 1.7 billion people have been affected by extreme weather and climate-related disasters over the past decade. .

Furthermore, the economic shock caused by COVID has increased food insecurity by reducing incomes and disrupting supply chains, leading to an uneven economic recovery. Access to financial markets has been limited, with several developing countries now on the brink of default.

“Now the war in Ukraine is amplifying and accelerating all of these factors: climate change, COVID-19and inequalityMr. Guterres said.

Consequences of the war in Ukraine

Between them, Ukraine and Russia produce almost a third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of the world’s sunflower oil. Russia and Belarus are the world’s second and third largest producers of potassium, a major ingredient in fertilizers.

The war threatens to push “tens of millions of people to the brink of food insecurity”followed by malnutrition, mass famine and famine, in a crisis that could last many years,” warned the head of the United Nations.

“Over the past year, global food prices have increased by almost a third, fertilizers by more than half, and oil prices by almost two thirds.”

Destructive societies

While, most developing countries lack the financial space to bear the brunt of these huge increases with many people unable to borrow because the market is closed to them.

“If high fertilizer prices continue, today’s cereals and cooking oil crisis could affect many other foods, including rice, affecting billions of people in Asia and,” he detailed. Americas.

In addition, children are threatened by lifelong stunting; millions of women and children will be malnourished; girls will be expelled from school and forced to work or get married; and families will embark on dangerous journeys across continents, just to survive.

High hunger rates have serious impacts on individuals, families and society“The head of the United Nations spelled it out.

‘Five urgent steps’

However, if we act together, there will be enough food for everyone,” he added.Ending hunger is within our reach“.

The Secretary-General then outlined five urgent steps to address the short-term crisis and prevent long-term damage, starting with reducing market pressures by increasing food supplies – not restricting exports. imports and surpluses available to those most in need.

“But let’s be clear: yes There is no effective solution to the food crisis without reconnecting Ukraine’s food productionas well as food and fertilizers produced by Russia and Belarus, which entered the world market, despite the war”.

Second, the social protection system must cover all those in need of food and cash; and water, sanitation, nutrition and livelihood support must be provided.

Fourth, governments must promote agricultural production and invest in resilient food systems to protect small-scale food producers.

And finally, humanitarian activities must be fully funded to prevent hunger and reduce hunger.

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Solidarity action

Finally, the head of the United Nations said that Global Crisis Response Team Food, energy and finance is monitoring the impact of the crisis on vulnerable people, identifying and promoting solutions.

“The food crisis knows no borders, and no country can overcome it alone,” he said.

“Our only chance to lift millions out of hunger is through action, urgency and solidarity.”

‘Goodwill’ is required

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken chaired the meeting, in which foreign ministers from about 30 diverse countries in the region discussed steps to address global food security, nutrition, and resilience. recovery capacity.

Describing the current situation as “the greatest global food insecurity crisis of our time”, Mr. Blinken said the emergency due to conflict, drought and natural disasters – has become more and more severe. made worse by Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Though hopeful, he said that “there is still a way to go” and that “complex security, economic and financial implications require goodwill on all sides”.

To tackle the global crisis, the US Secretary of State announced a $215 million humanitarian aid grant.

Urgently open the gate

World food program (WFP) Chief David Beasley drew attention to a world “too fragile” after years of conflict, pandemics and climate threats.

He also noted that the current funding deficit could impede food access for around four million people.

In addition, the top WFP official pointed out that “the failure to open ports” in and out of Ukraine will put people on the brink of starvation.

Although “the vaults are full”, blockades and other obstacles are making them inaccessible, Mr Beasley said, calling on governments to “step up” now.

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