UN warns of ‘looming hunger catastrophe’ due to Russian blockade

UN warns of ‘looming hunger catastrophe’ due to Russian blockade

The Guardian reports:

A looming hunger catastrophe is set to explode over the next two years, creating the risk of unprecedented global political pressure, the executive director of the UN World Food Programme has warned.

Calling for short- and long-term reforms – including an urgent lifting of the blockade on 25m tonnes of Ukrainian grain trapped by a Russian blockade – David Beasley said the current food affordability crisis is likely to turn into an even more dangerous food availability crisis next year unless solutions are found.

The number of people classed as “acutely food insecure” by the UN before the Covid crisis was 130 million, but after Covid this number rose to 276 million.

Writing a preface to a new pamphlet from the Blair Institute on the looming hunger crisis, Beasley says: “This number has increased to 345 million due to the Ukraine crisis. And a staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are now just one step from famine.

“The international community must act to stop this looming hunger catastrophe in its tracks – or these numbers will explode.

“Global food markets have been plunged into turmoil, with soaring prices, export bans and shortages of basic foodstuffs spreading far from Ukraine’s borders. Nations across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and even Latin America are feeling the heat from this conflict.” [Continue reading…]

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