A United Nations official said that Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports is a “declaration of war” and triggering a global food crisis.
The planet was facing a global food crisis before Russia invaded Ukraine, which is colloquially known as the “breadbasket of Europe” as it feeds 400 million people, according to Bloomberg. Along with mass migration from the ongoing war, UN’s World Food Programme official David Beasley is concerned that Russia’s invasion has compounded the crisis facing the human race, Bloomberg continued.
“Failure to open up the ports is a declaration of war on global food security,” Beasley continued, according to Bloomberg. Beasley said that 49 million people were “knocking on famine’s door” across 43 countries and that those nations have “to be extremely concerned about that will result in destabilization and mass migration if we don’t get ahead of this.”
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Beasley also called upon billionaire Elon Musk to help fight world hunger, according to Reuters.
Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine had placed the “world on edge” and that “Russia uses its leverage like a weapon,” Bloomberg continued. “Food, energy. Now it’s treating the world with world hunger. Their actions are intentional. There should be reaction on its weaponization of everything.”
“We shouldn’t kid ourselves that there are limits to Putin’s brutality. The task here at Davos is for us to recognize that hunger is being used as a weapon,” Germany’s Economic Minister Robert Habeck said during a radio interview, referenced by Bloomberg. “That’s why it’s good that the discussions are taking place in person here again and so many people are coming.”
Habeck called the impending global food shortages a “catastrophe” and that the WEF can work with policymakers to coordinate a strategy to tackle global hunger, Bloomberg continued. (RELATED: Grubhub Gives Everyone In New York City $15 Off For Lunch Orders, Chaos Ensues)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the world’s food crisis is just 10 weeks away, a sentiment that was echoed by a food supply expert, according to Fox News. CEO of Gro Intelligence Sara Menker said that the world only has 10 weeks worth of wheat left.
Some countries, such as India, have banned the export of wheat in order to “manage the overall food security of the country,” according to CNBC. Indonesia has also banned the export of palm oil, a key ingredient in a wealth of products, including food and home goods, CNBC continued.