Up to 50 mln people could suffer hunger due to Russia’s war: Blinken

Russia’s war against Ukraine could plunge up to 50 million people across the world into famine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony BlinkenPhoto: EPA/MIKA SAVOLAINEN

Speaking in Berlin on Friday, Blinken said: „Three, four years ago there were about 100 million people who were severely food insecure in the world. A year ago it was about 160 million people. Now another 40 or 50 million people are being added to the ranks because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”

Blinken added that „the only reason for this now is Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Russia’s blockade against grain and other foodstuffs moving out of Ukraine.”

He told reporters at a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock that „the sanctions that we’ve imposed on Russia collectively and with many other countries exempt food, exempt food products, exempt fertilizers, exempt insurers, exempt shippers.”

„So there is no reason – no reason other than Russia’s blockade of Ukraine and Russia’s refusal in many cases to export its own grain for political reasons – no reason that this shouldn’t be moving,” he also said.

„But we’re also working together in the absence of being able to get as much grain as we would like out of Ukraine or see Russia export its own foodstuffs, looking at other ways to help the many countries that are affected,” Blinken told the media.

A Polish deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that the worsening food security crisis in the world was solely due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the United Nations warned that the number of people suffering from acute hunger could rise by 47 million worldwide if the war in Ukraine continued.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, state.gov

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