‘Unprecedented’ Food Crisis Threatens the World, G7 Leaders Warn

In a bid to prevent the Ukrainian conflict from turning into a global food crisis, G7 leaders have called for an extraordinary session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The communique they adopted on Thursday at the summit of the world’s biggest economies says that the Russian offensive on Ukraine places global food security under increased pressure and underlined the need to address the consequences arising from the aggression.

According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) data, Russia and Ukraine are among the world’s biggest crop suppliers, representing 53% of global trade in sunflower oil and seeds and 27% in wheat.

G7 leaders expressed readiness to address food security by using all instruments – including support for the Ukrainian continued production efforts – and funding mechanisms and involving all the relevant international institutions.

They also agreed to follow the World Trade Organization rules by maintaining open and transparent markets and avoiding export bans and other trade-restrictive measures.

Pointing out that the unprecedented food crisis is a direct consequence of Russia’s choices and the war, French President Emmanuel Macron has used Brussels’ summit to present his own food security initiative, urging Moscow to be responsible and to allow Ukraine to continue sowing.

Macron noted that otherwise, the situation might further deteriorate, and the famine would be inevitable in many countries that are highly dependent on agricultural supplies from Russia and Ukraine such as Egypt and some other countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Macron’s initiative for food security envisages an emergency plan for the release of stocks if a crisis occurs. It would be a multilateral commitment not to impose restrictions on the agricultural raw materials’ export, supporting the most vulnerable countries in sustainable food production and a temporary increase in production thresholds.

It also involves creating a mechanism that would enable, if such necessity arises, providing the most vulnerable countries with a sufficient quantity of agricultural products at reasonable prices.

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