The ministers of the European Union analyze the risk of a global food crisis due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

File image of a sunflower in a wheat field near Zhovtneve, Ukraine. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko (Valentyn Ogirenko/)

The Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union (EU) discussed this Monday measures to face the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the agri-food field and the “fears” that it could trigger a “world food crisis”.

”One of the strongest fears is that this tragedy on Ukrainian soil will add a global food crisis in countries that do not have the capacity to face the consequences of the war in Ukraine in terms of access to wheat, fertilizers or animal feeding”French Agriculture and Food Minister Julien Denormandie said upon arrival at the meeting.

It is expected that this meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Twenty-seven will be joined by videoconference by his Ukrainian counterpart Roman Leshchenko, to whom the members of the community club plan to convey the “solidarity” of the EU with the country.

The community ministers will also analyze the consequences of this war “on world markets and the responses that Europe must adopt to accompany all the countries”said the head of France, a country that holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU this semester.

FILE PHOTO: Servicemen of pro-Russian troops atop tanks during the conflict between Ukraine and <a class=Russia outside the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 20, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko” height=”533″ src=”https://www.americanchronicles.news/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/1647857731_52_The-European-Union-denounced-Putins-attack-in-Mariupol-It-is.jpg” width=”800″ />
FILE PHOTO: Servicemen of pro-Russian troops atop tanks during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia outside the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 20, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

Before the Russian military invasion, Ukraine was an important exporter of cereals and oilseeds, such as wheat, corn or sunflower, but the war has paralyzed sales of Ukrainian agricultural products, which in the community club were especially relevant for food of the cattle.

Although the war will not put food security in the European Union at risk, it could have repercussions on supplies in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East or Africa.

The European Commission is expected to present this Monday some of the measures to support the EU’s primary sector that it has been preparing, in particular aid for private storage of pork, the use of the crisis reserve or the possibility of carrying out crops on fallow land, listed the French minister.

Denormandie also alluded to the possibility of adopting a framework agreement that makes possible aid directly at the national level by the different EU governments.

FILE PHOTO.  An employee operates a combine harvester in a wheat field near the village of Hrebeni in Ukraine's kyiv region.  REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
FILE PHOTO. An employee operates a combine harvester in a wheat field near the village of Hrebeni in Ukraine’s kyiv region. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko (Valentyn Ogirenko/)

The Community Executive plans to publish next Wednesday a communication on food safety that will collect measures in the short, medium and long term.

The war has added to the problems that the agricultural sector was already experiencing due to the rise in energy or feed prices, the crisis in the pork sector and, in the case of Spain, the drought.

THE HRW WARNING

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Monday that the war could exacerbate the food crisis facing the Middle East and North Africa, and has called on Western countries to guarantee “the right to affordable and adequate food for all”.

“Global food chains demand global solidarity in times of crisis,” said Human Rights Watch Executive Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Lama Fakih. “Without concerted action to address food supply and affordability, the conflict in Ukraine risks deepening the global food crisis, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa,” Fakih said.

A school canteen in Burundi WFP/HUGH RUTHERFORD
A school canteen in Burundi WFP/HUGH RUTHERFORD (WFP/HUGH RUTHERFORD/)

The organization has called in a statement addressed to Western governments to do “everything in their power”, such as, “providing adequate subsidies or intervening to control prices, or providing adequate social protection”.

As explained by HRW, the Black Sea area affected by the crisis in Ukraine exports at least 12% of the food calories sold in the world. In addition, the organization has emphasized Ukraine’s role in world food as it has a third of the most fertile soil in the world, according to the UN.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has pointed out that prices of essential foods are already rising globally due to disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the pandemic and war in Ukraine. A rise in prices to which many countries in the Middle East and North Africa “are more vulnerable”, as expressed by HRW.

“A global food crisis can only be addressed through international cooperation. Food-exporting countries must address their domestic needs, but they must also work with import-dependent countries to establish alternative supply chains as soon as possible.”the NGO has suggested.

It has also called on governments to “carefully” balance export restrictions to protect the right to food domestically while minimizing the impact on other countries.

(with information from EFE)

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Source-www.infobae.com