“The ongoing war further aggravates an already delicate situation, especially in many developing countries, primarily in the African continent, historical importers of cereals from Russia and Ukraine”
The war between Russia and Ukraine not only affects the military and civilians in the conflict areas, but its affections go a long way. In a globalized world, in which states are increasingly interdependent on each other, a heavy toll, of hunger and blood, is destined to pay, in the short term and for a long time, also in northern and sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, those countries that depend exclusively on the import of wheat from Moscow and Kiev and which, due to the blocking of exports of cereals and agricultural products, will be forced to starve and consequently suffer from political and social instability. Maurizio Martina, deputy director general of FAO spoke about these topics with Adnkronos, who underlined how much “the war in Ukraine further aggravates an already delicate situation, especially in many developing countries, primarily in the African continent, historical importers of cereals from Russia and Ukraine. In recent weeks, the blocking of exports generated by the closure of ports in the Black Sea has made the supply of some essential goods such as wheat problematic, even when it comes to food cooperation programs of agencies that historically also supplied Ukrainian products ”.
“Our great concern – notes Martina – is the trigger that there could be social tensions, starting from the growing food insecurity that can grow in these countries in particular. Unfortunately we already have some signs of these tensions, in Kenya, Lebanon and in many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, which are already in a fragile situation also due to the impact of climate change in those areas. This war makes the picture even more problematic. The real issue is the instability and uncertainty, which is also felt on food production chains, with the price peaks we have experienced in this period and with the intertwining of the effects of the pandemic, energy prices and this war. A difficult time for food safety caused by the intersection of problems that quickly aggravate a situation that was already delicate. If we then combine all this with the impact of climate change on agricultural production, particularly in some areas, unfortunately we find ourselves facing a very difficult scenario to face “.
“We have been working since the first minute of the war – says the former Minister of Agriculture – with the 194 countries that are in the FAO, to implement a series of recommendations and tools to help especially the most fragile countries, those in progress development, to address this anomalous and unprecedented situation, very worrying that we have before us. Even before this conflict there was an extremely delicate situation linked to food insecurity. Between 2020 and 2021 there was an increase in people in the area of massive acute hunger. In just one year, we have had 40 million new people in the area of chronic hunger. In 2021, we peaked at 193 million in acute hunger. All this occurred basically for 3 main causes: conflicts,
” stocks are decreasing, it is not easy to replace sources of supply ‘
If interdependence, cooperation and the open market, as well as multilateral work between countries, for the deputy director of FAO “are fundamental, things change when a country is totally dependent on another country. One of the major issues on which we work – he explains – is linked to the balance of imports and the diversification of supplies. Helping to diversify them is very important precisely because no one must depend too much on a few other subjects and the interrelation must be balanced “. However, the replacement of supplies, such as the idea of turning to Canada, another major world producer of cereals, to supplant the void left by Ukraine and Russia, “is neither easy nor automatic, it is not easy to replace processes of this type.
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