The EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes and the UN-led Black Sea Grain Initiative have helped partially alleviate the severity of the global food crisis and deliver Ukrainian grain to countries most in need – in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
European Council President Charles Michel said this in his remarks at the Global Food Security Summit in New York, held as part of the UN General Assembly.
“Getting grains out of Ukraine has been one of our top priorities. Our EU-Ukraine Solidarity Lanes have carried more than 10 million tons of food products, and the UN-led Black Sea Grain Initiative is making a real difference. It is getting food to countries most in need and helping to stabilize markets. And contrary to Russia’s disinformation, this food is getting to Africa, the Middle East and Asia,” he said.
He noted that the current crisis went far beyond a purely food problem – it was a crisis caused by the “perfect storm” of food, energy and economic challenges.
“Food security is the major global challenge today. Today’s global food crisis is being exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine. It impacts every country, and we need to adapt our response to local needs. Over 200 million people in the world are in acute need of food, and even more may lose their lives to hunger. This is not acceptable; this is not sustainable. Famine is looming in many parts of the world, and now is the time for all of us to translate our political commitments into concrete action,” Michel said.
He recalled that the EU, together with member states, had already put forward a comprehensive Global Food Security Response of nearly 8 billion euros until 2024 to provide humanitarian relief along with short-term and longer-term solutions, especially to countries most in need, particularly in Africa.
According to him, another priority is to tackle the shortage of fertilizers. To solve this problem, the EU will promote the development of capacities for production, especially in Africa. Similarly, vaccine production has already been launched during the coronavirus pandemic, and this example inspires further efforts. For the first time, the EU announced this initiative at the G7 meeting in Germany, but the further development of this project requires the participation of international donors, governments and private companies, and the coordination of joint efforts.
“Russia’s war against the people of Ukraine is a test, a test of our international rules-based order. And we are here this afternoon to rally the forces that believe in global cooperation to make the world a better and safer place. We trust the United Nations, which has a central role in coordinating the international response to this crisis. I am convinced that only together will we make progress. I am convinced that only together will we get the job done,” Michel said. (Ukrinform/Business World Magazine)