Health and Fitness

UN chief warns of ‘catastrophe’ from global food shortage


BERLIN — The head of the United Nations warned Friday that the world faces ‘œcatastrophe’ because of the growing shortage of food around the globe.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war in Ukraine has added to the disruptions caused by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and inequality to produce an ‘œunprecedented global hunger crisis’ already affecting hundreds of millions of people.

‘œThere is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022,’ he said in a video message to officials from dozens of rich and developing countries gathered in Berlin. ‘œAnd 2023 could be even worse.’

Guterres noted that harvests across Asia, Africa and the Americas will take a hit as farmers around the world struggle to cope with rising fertilizer and energy prices.

‘œThis year’s food access issues could become next year’s global food shortage,’ he said. ‘œNo country will be immune to the social and economic repercussions of such a catastrophe.’

Guterres said U.N. negotiators were working on a deal that would enable Ukraine to export food, including via the Black Sea, and let Russia bring food and fertilizer to world markets without restrictions.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

He also called for debt relief for poor countries to help keep their economies afloat and for the private sector to help stabilize global food markets.

The Berlin meeting’s host, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, said Moscow’s claim that Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were to blame for food shortages was ‘œcompletely untenable.”

Russia exported as much wheat in May and June this year as in the same months of 2021, Baerbock said.

She echoed Guterres’ comments that several factors underlie the growing hunger crisis around the world.

‘œBut it was Russia’s war of attack against Ukraine that turned a wave into a tsunami,’ Baerbock said.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        





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