UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned today that the world is facing a catastrophe due to deepening food shortages, the Associated Press reported.
In a video address to representatives of dozens of rich and developing countries gathered in Berlin, Guterres stressed that the war in Ukraine has deepened the difficulties caused by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and uneven production, BNR reported. He said all this had led to an “unprecedented global famine crisis” that had already affected hundreds of millions of people. “There is a real risk of famine in many places in 2022,” he said, adding that in 2023 “it could be even worse.”
The UN secretary general noted that the harvest in Asia, Africa and the Americas would suffer as farmers around the world struggled to cope with rising fertilizer and energy prices. “The problem of access to food from this year will turn into a global food shortage next year,” he predicted, adding that “no country will be immune to the social and economic impacts of this catastrophe.”
German Foreign Minister Analena Burbock, who is hosting the meeting in Berlin, called “completely untenable” Russia’s claims that the food shortage is due to Western sanctions against it for invading Ukraine. According to Burbock, in May and June this year, Russia exported the same amount of grain as in May and June 2021. It joined Guterres’ position that the growing food crisis in the world is due to several factors. “It was Russia’s war against Ukraine, however, that turned the tsunami,” the German foreign minister concluded.