Global food crisis looms due to Ukraine war: Tharoor

New Delhi: Amid Russia-Ukraine war, a wheat crisis looms in the world, said Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and former UN official, citing FAO report that around 30 per cent crops won’t be sown.

In a tweet he said, “Ukraine & Russia account for nearly 30 per cent of the world’s wheat, 17 per cent of corn and over half of sunflower seed oil exports. These have been drastically reduced by war. Worse, @FAO estimates that 20-30 per cent of this year’s crop won’t be planted because of war. A global food crisis looms.”

“The World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is further threatening global food security, with food prices already at an all-time high,” he said.

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WFP’s Emergency Coordinator for Ukraine Jakob Kern, has said that the world’s largest and fourth-largest exporters of wheat, Russia and Ukraine respectively together are responsible for 29 per cent of the global wheat trade. Therefore, the two countries are critical to ensuring the food security of many countries around the world.

Global food and fuel prices have increased sharply since the start of the conflict, Kern said. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index, they reached an all-time high in February 2022.

The price of wheat increased by 24 per cent from February 21 to March 15, Kern said.

“These hikes will affect local food prices and, through these, access to food, especially for millions of people who are already struggling to put food on the table,” he added.

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