UN Director Warns Europe of ‘Hell on Earth’ Migrant Crisis Amid Global Food Shortage

An Afghan boy carries food packets being distributed by the members of World Food Programm
AVED TANVEER/AFP via Getty Images

A senior UN official has warned that Europe must either pay for more food aid abroad or face a “Hell on Earth” migrant crisis.

Pay for the food of the developing world or face another migrant crisis — this is the ultimatum the head of the UN’s World Food Programme has put to Europe’s leaders.

The dramatic warning comes as the global organisation begins to struggle to pay for the food it gives to famine-stricken parts of the world, with the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine disrupting food supply globally and, by extension, driving up prices.

Now, according to a report by POLITICO, the food programme’s head has warned that its project is in jeopardy, and that Europe either needs to cough up more funds for the UN group’s mission or face a terrible migrant crisis.

“We’re billions short,” said World Food Bank Executive Director David Beasley. “Failure to provide this year a few extra billion dollars means you’re going to have famine, destabilization, and mass migration.”

“If you think we’ve got Hell on earth now, you just get ready,” the former Governor of South Carolina continued. “If we neglect northern Africa, northern Africa’s coming to Europe. If we neglect the Middle East, [the] Middle East is coming to Europe.”

However, Beasley was keen to stress that it is not just a migrant crisis that Europe is running the risk of with the ongoing food crisis. The former Republican politician painted a picture of mass unrest in Africa, Europe, and the United States as a result of the ongoing crisis.

“What do you think is going to happen in Paris and Chicago and Brussels when there’s not enough food?” he asked. “It’s easy to sit on your high horse in your ivory tower when you’re not the one starving.”

Beasley’s dire ultimatum — while no doubt quite a bit more graphic than warnings made by other officials — are mostly in line with the future predictions of other experts.

Ukraine — nicknamed the breadbasket of Europe — is responsible for a significant share of the world’s wheat production, with both it and Russia holding about 30 per cent of global market share in the grain.

Both countries have significant roles in the production and export of fertiliser, too, without which crops yields could be reduced by up to 50 per cent in Sweden, for example.

However, due to the ongoing conflict, exports have largely ground to a halt, with Russian ships reportedly blocking Ukrainian ships from accessing the Black Sea and supplying the world.

The combination of these factors means that a global food crisis is likely on the cards, with many experts now warning of famine in parts of the world that are most at risk.

“For the last three years, global rates of hunger and famine have been on the rise,” said Michael Fakhri, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food. “With the Russian invasion, we are now facing the risk of imminent famine and starvation in more places around the world.”

Things are looking particularly bad for the World Food Programme, however, with Ukraine previously serving as the programme’s single-biggest source of food in 2021, and the overall hike in food prices has resulted in major budget shortfalls that Beasley is now seemingly desperate to get Europe’s to help fill.

While it will no doubt serve as another unwanted expense for the continent during a time when purse strings are already tight, the ex-governor warns that the bloc does not really have much choice.

“You’ll pay for it a hundredfold if you don’t,” he warned.

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