According to the UN Secretary General, food and fertilizers from Russia, as well as from Belarus and Ukraine, are necessary for the world to ensure food security
Fertilizers and products from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine must be returned to world markets for ensuring food security, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the broadcast was conducted on the organization's YouTube channel.
"Let me be clear— a serious solution to global threats to food security requires the reintegration of Ukrainian agricultural production and food and fertilizer production in Russia and Belarus into world markets, — he said.
The Secretary General added that this must be done despite the fighting.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the world price of food and fertilizer has risen by an order of magnitude. So, in March, food prices rose by 12.6%, to 159.3 points, which was a record for almost 30 years— since 1990, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This dynamics was the result of a significant rise in prices for vegetable oils (by 23.2% in March compared to February) and grain crops (by 17.1%).
Russia and Ukraine are among the largest suppliers of grain in the world, according to a report by the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture. According to the latest data from the agency, Russia accounted for 16% of world wheat exports, Ukraine— ten%. At the same time, Ukrainian suppliers— one of the main world exporters of corn, they account for 14%, Russian— 2%.
According to the FAO, almost 50 countries depend on food supplies from Russia and Ukraine, which provide at least 30% of their wheat import needs with their help.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in late March that food shortages could be one of the consequences of the conflict. He pointed out that the current situation hinders the sowing campaign. “The most terrible will be the famine that is approaching for different countries,” — he stressed.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in early May promised assistance to countries that may face famine due to what is happening in Ukraine. “We already have to worry that there are people who will starve to death, that there are countries that can no longer afford grain,” pointed out the head of Germany.
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