The US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Ramin Toloi reviewed the causes of the food crisis afflicting the international community.
“Armed conflict, climate change and the impact of the Corona pandemic are factors that made global food insecurity a crisis even before Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine,” he said in a conference call on Wednesday. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine greatly exacerbated food insecurity, prompting tens of millions of additional people. to the food insecure ranks.
“We know that this pain is felt most acutely in the Middle East and North Africa, where most countries import at least half of their wheat from Ukraine,” he added.
“The Kremlin, as usual, sought to deflect responsibility for its actions by blaming the sanctions for disrupting the global food system,” Tolui said at the conference, in which Al-Hurra participated.
“But this is clearly not true. The food and fertilizer trade has been specifically exempted from US sanctions,” Toloy said.
He noted that the sanctions do not include fruit and fertilizer from Russia. “The reality is that Russia is launching attacks on Ukraine’s ports, warehouses and transportation networks, and blocking Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea to prevent Ukraine’s exports including millions of tons of grain that was destined for the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere,” he added.
Tolui spoke of reliable reports indicating that Putin’s army is transporting wheat intended for countries that are in dire need of wheat imports from Ukraine to the areas controlled by Russia. Also, Russia itself stopped exporting types of grain because of the war, or restricted exports to what it called “friendly countries”, and this exacerbated the situation.
Toloy explained that the immediate solution to this crisis is to stop Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine.
The US Assistant Secretary of State spoke about the road map to global food security announced by the United States, which is based on the ministerial meeting held in New York on May 18, and 90 countries have committed to it.
“We will work together to address urgent humanitarian needs and immediate disturbances,” he said. “The United States has been a pioneer in this regard, announcing the provision of more than $2.5 billion in humanitarian food assistance since the additional Russian invasion of Ukraine that will address urgent food security around the world including countries in the Middle East and North Africa,” he added.
“The United States is working with allies and global partners to get assistance where it is needed most. This is what the food security meeting that will be held in Berlin on the 24th of this month will focus on,” according to Toloi.