UN urges rich countries ‘to open their wallets and hearts’ to ease food crisis

Estimated read time 5 min read

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UN urges rich countries ‘to open their wallets and hearts’ to ease food crisis

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraged wealthy nations “to open their wallets and their hearts” to help those suffering the most from the global food crisis aggravated by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

A day after he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Lviv, Guterres went to the port city of Odesa in Ukraine to supervise the transportation of grain.

Oleksandr Kubrakov, the minister of infrastructure for Ukraine, accompanied Guterres as he saw grain loading for export.

The military conflict started in late February and hindered grain supplies from Russia and Ukraine, two major grain exporters, which drove up world prices.

However, as many as 25 ships loaded with thousands of agricultural products have departed Ukraine since last month’s landmark food export deal, brokered by Turkey and the UN, and opened up three Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

The UN head stated, “It is time for massive and generous support so developing countries can purchase the food from this and other ports – and people can buy it,” the UN chief said, adding that “each ship is also a vessel of hope” for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries.

Although he described the export agreement as “unprecedented,” he said there “is still a long way to go on many fronts.”

“But let’s not forget that what we see here in Odesa is only the more visible part of the solution. The other part that is also important, that we have been defending, relates to the unimpeded access to the global markets of Russian food and fertilizer, which are not subject to sanctions,” he said. “It is important that all governments and the private sector cooperate to bring them to market.”

On Saturday, Guterres is also expected to go to the Istanbul Joint Coordination Center, which was established as part of the grain deal, to conduct inspections. BKM/ Expat Media


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