The World Food Programme (WFP) expressed optimism on a U.N.-brokered agreement to reopen Ukrainian ports for grain exports, but it issued a warning that even if the agreement is successfully executed, it will not be sufficient to end the world food crisis.
A deal was agreed on Friday by Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations, and Turkey to allow ships to enter and exit three Ukrainian Black Sea ports that have been shut down by Russia ever since Moscow’s invasion on February 24.
Tens of millions of tonnes of grain have been stranded in the nation because Ukraine and Russia are both significant grain exporters. In addition to Western sanctions on Russia, it has caused oil and food costs to spike, igniting unrest in poor nations that depend on grains from the Black Sea.
Due to severe financial deficits and global inflation, which have both been made worse by the Ukraine conflict, the World Food Programme (WFP) has had to reduce aid this year in key hunger hotspots like Yemen and South Sudan.
‘We are hopeful that the agreement would lower food prices across the board. Countries reliant on grain imports from the Black Sea will probably experience benefits first, ‘a WFP representative told Reuters.
However, she continued, the current global food crisis is not solely a pricing catastrophe, and even if Friday’s agreement holds, which is far from certain, man-made violence, climatic shocks, and the COVID-19 epidemic will continue to keep food prices elevated.