Written by 1:09 am Food

UN Chief ‘Deeply Concerned’ By Stalled Black Sea Grain Initiative

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed deep concern at Russia’s decision to suspend its involvement within the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal set as much as reintroduce vital food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine to the remaining of the world.

On Sunday, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said, in a press release for the Secretary-General, that Mr. Guterres has decided to delay his departure for the Arab League Summit in Algiers by a day to concentrate on the problem.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February 2022, mountains of grains built up in silos, with ships unable to secure secure passage to and from Ukrainian ports, and land routes were unable to compensate.

This contributed to vertiginous rises in the worth of staple foods all over the world. Combined with increases in the price of energy, developing countries were pushed to the brink of debt default and increasing numbers of individuals found themselves on the point of famine.

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The Initiative was resulting from run out within the second half of November, but there was an option to increase it, if all parties, including Russian and Ukraine, agree.

Thousands and thousands saved from extreme poverty

The deal was demonstrably successful in bringing down prices, allowing tens of millions of tonnes of grain to be safely transported from Ukrainian ports.

By September, Rebecca Grynspan, the pinnacle of the UN trade body, UNCTAD, and Amir Abdulla, the UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative, could proudly announced that prices had come down five months in a row, and that the Food Price Index, which measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities, had decreased nearly 14 per cent from its March peak.

Based on UN estimates, the Initiative has not directly prevented some 100 million people from falling into extreme poverty.

Nonetheless, on Saturday Russia announced that it was suspending its involvement within the deal, citing an attack the identical day on ships within the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol within the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

The move reportedly took traders by surprise, and raised fears of one other steep rise in food prices.

Arif Husain, Chief Economist on the World Food Programme (WFP), reportedly warned that Russia’s decision poses a danger to a lot of countries, and needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

Mr. Dujarric said that the Secretary-General is continuous to interact in intense contacts aimed toward ending the Russian suspension of its participation within the Initiative.

This engagement, he explained, also goals on the renewal and full implementation of the initiative to facilitate exports of food and fertilizer from Ukraine, in addition to removing the remaining obstacles to the exports of Russian food and fertilizer.


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