Global Food Shortage: U.N. Chief Guterres Warns of Looming ‘Catastrophe’

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a press conference at the end of his visit to crisis-ridden Lebanon, in the capital Beirut on December 21, 2021. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty

The world faces the prospect of a mass starvation “catastrophe” driven by unprecedented food shortages, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warned Friday.

Guterres pointed to the conflict in Ukraine as exacerbating disruptions caused by “climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and inequality” to produce an “unprecedented global hunger crisis” already affecting hundreds of millions of people.

“There is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022,” he said in a video message to officials from dozens of countries gathered in Berlin. “And 2023 could be even worse.”

Guterres noted harvests across Asia, Africa and the Americas will dive as farmers struggle to cope with rising fertilizer and energy prices, AP reports.

As Breitbart London reported, one indirect obstacle already posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the strain that is putting on Romania as it seeks to help export its neighbour’s wheat crop to a waiting world.

The Black Sea port of Constanta has emerged as a main conduit for the war-torn country´s grain exports. It has processed nearly one million tons of grain from Ukraine – one of the world´s biggest exporters of wheat and corn – since the Feb. 24 invasion, just one example of the impact of the conflict.

The Berlin meeting’s host, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, disputed Moscow’s claim Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s action in Ukraine were to blame for food shortages as “completely untenable.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 24, 2022 on Germany's contribution against the global hunger crisis on the occasion of the International Conference on Food Security at the Federal Press Conference. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Friday Moscow's claim that Western sanctions imposed over Russia's invasion of Ukraine were to blame for food shortages was “completely untenable." (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 24, 2022 on Germany’s contribution against the global hunger crisis on the occasion of the International Conference on Food Security. (Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa via AP)

Russia exported as much wheat in May and June this year as in the same months of 2021, Baerbock said, echoing Guterres’ comments that several factors underlie the growing hunger crisis around the world.

“But it was Russia’s war of attack against Ukraine that turned a wave into a tsunami,” Baerbock concluded.

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