On Tuesday, the U.N. food chief warned that the war in Ukraine created “a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe” that will severely impact global food security “beyond anything we’ve seen since World War II”.
The Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP), David Beasley, said that food prices are already “skyrocketing”.
Associated Press (AP) reported that WFP was feeding around 125 million people worldwide before the crisis in Ukraine began. It is now aiding millions more, namely the displaced Ukrainians.
He warned that many countries in Africa and the Middle East should not be neglected because of the ongoing massive displacement in Europe.
He said that the war in Eastern Europe will likely turn “the breadbasket of the world to breadlines” for many countries, namely Lebanon which got 81% of its wheat from Ukraine in 2020.
If the conflict doesn’t resolve, he warned, “the world will pay a mighty price, and the last thing we want to do as the World Food Program is taking food from hungry children to give to starving children.”
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that Russia bombed three civilian ships carrying goods to the world, thus preventing food from reaching the Mediterranean.
“We are particularly concerned about countries like Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Morocco which rely heavily on Ukrainian imports to feed their population,” Sherman added.
Last week, France and Mexico called for a humanitarian resolution on Ukraine at the council meeting at the General Assembly by a vote of 140-5, with 38 abstentions.
Lebanon voted in favor “because we know the price of war and its impact on civilians. This war should stop now,” said Amal Mudallali, Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations.
According to AP, the resolution demanded the end of hostilities, the protection of civilians and essential infrastructure, and let people access the needed aid.
The French Ambassador, Nicolas De Riviere., said: “It is Russia’s unjustified and unjustifiable war that is preventing Ukraine from exporting grain, disrupting global supply chains, and driving up prices that threaten the accessibility of agricultural commodities for the most vulnerable.”