We are on the cusp of ‘global food catastrophe’ says charity chief
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The global food crisis, which the UN warned about when Vladimir Putin ’s Russia blocked grain export from Ukrainian ports, is still impending despite the deal broken by Ukraine and Russia, a charity chief warns. Three weeks after a deal was signed by both countries – putting an end of Putin’s famine threat – the first shipment of humanitarian food aid set sail from Ukraine with around 23,000 tonnes of wheat making their way to Ethiopia. However, the failure in providing food to the world’s neediest people is compounded issues, making famines in the whole world inevitable.
When asked whether she was hopeful about the renewed flow of food and grains from Ukraine through the Black Sea, Charity chief Christine Allen said: “It does give us some hope.
“But it’s certainly not the answer to our prayers – that’s for sure. You know, the more we can get moving out of Ukraine, the better.
“But there a certain number of issues here. One is obviously the issues of grain making that accessible. But there is still the reality that prices have gone up hugely. Fuel as well has gone up hugely.
“And, you know, in the same way that we’re talking about, kind of duel prices, who’s paying the price for that. It’s the poorest that will pay the price.”
Christine Allen warns of an impending global food catastrophe despite Ukraine-Russia deal (Image: GETTY)
Christine Allen says famine will occur ‘before the end of this year’ (Image: TWITTER/@LBC)
“So, there’s that side of things. There’s also the issue about aid, there is the issue about the amounts of aid that are being given.
“There is also the issue, I think, about broader global cooperation. I mean, you said in your introduction, we are absolutely on the cusp of a global food catastrophe.”
Ms Allen insisted: “It’s not just a crisis. It’s a catastrophe. We’re seeing people in Afghanistan today starving.
“We’re seeing people in East Africa starving. We will see famines before the end of this year.”
The first ship to leave the Ukrainian port of Odesa left three weeks ago (Image: GETTY)
Vladimir Putin executed a famine threat by blockading Ukrainian ports (Image: GETTY)
LBC’s Shelagh Fogarty jumped in, saying: “We will see it in places where we don’t normally see it, is that what you’re saying?”
“Absolutely,” Ms Allen said. “You know, I mean, Afghanistan has suffered with three droughts over the past five years.
“I was in northern Kenya this year at the end of May. They have missed four rainy seasons. I mean droughts are becoming much more the norm.
“We spent two weeks with a hot weather here. Imagine what’s that like over a two-year period. So, this is a really tough situation and we’re seeing failed harvest, we’re seeing real hunger. And so that does come down. We have seen here over the last couple of years, a greater recognition of climate change – recognise the urgency.”
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David Beasley warned of the impending crisis when Ukrainian ports were blockaded (Image: GETTY)
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) raised alarm bells when Vladimir Putin executed his famine threat by blocking grain exports from Ukrainian ports.
David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme stated: “When a nation that is the breadbasket of the world becomes a nation with the longest bread line of the world, we know we have a problem.”
Despite the deal brokered by Russia and Ukraine, experts say the scale of the crisis is so immense that no single advance will suffice to solve the issue.
Experts cite wars, the economic devastation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather worsened by climate change for the devastating famines most parts of the world will face.
According to the World Food Programme, 50 million people in 45 countries “are teetering on the edge of famine.”
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