Production in Ukraine and Russia vital to restore global food security, says UN chief

Production in Ukraine and Russia vital to restore global food security, says UN chief

Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after it was unable to import the key fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigerian sovereign investment authority NSIA said. Last month, the International Monetary Fund said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had delivered a further “huge negative shock” to sub-Saharan Africa, driving food and energy prices higher and putting the most vulnerable people at risk of hunger. The extra pressure comes as many countries are still reeling from the protracted COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to ensure a steady flow in food and energies through open markets by lifting all unnecessary export restrictions, directing surpluses and reserves to those in need and keeping a lead on food prices to curb market volatility,” Guterres said.

On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that the global food security problem could not be solved without restoring Ukrainian agricultural production and Russian food and fertilizer output to the global market. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February heightened financial market volatility, sending commodity prices higher and disrupting logistics, potentially jeopardizing many countries’ economic recovery from COVID-19, including Nigeria. “Our study shows that the war in Ukraine is exacerbating the problem, putting in motion a three-dimensional crisis that is wreaking havoc on global food, energy, and financial systems for developing nations,” Guterres said during his first visit to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. “Without restoring farm productivity, there is no viable answer to the challenge of global food security.” Guterres said he was determined to facilitate dialogue to help achieve those goals. He said the United Nations had called for an extra $351 million as part of the overall $1.1 billion for the humanitarian response plan for Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari said the continent was concerned that the attention on Russia and Ukraine could crowd out other issues.

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