Russia Ukraine war and continues inducement of war from the west could cause global food shortages in the coming months, the UN has warned.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war had exacerbated food shortages even in developed countries due to historic spiking prices.
The world could face a famine that lasts for years if Ukraine’s exports are not restored to pre-war levels, he added.
The conflict cut off supplies from Ukrainian ports, which once exported large quantities of sunflower oil and grains such as corn and wheat.
This has reduced international supply and has led to an increase in the price of alternatives. Global food prices are almost 30% higher than in the same period last year, according to the UN.
Speaking in New York on Wednesday, Mr Guterres said the conflict “threatens tens of millions of people on the brink of food insecurity followed by malnutrition, starvation and starvation”.
“There is enough food in our world right now when we work together. But unless we solve this problem today, we are facing a vision of global food shortages in the coming months,” he added.
He warned that there is no effective solution to the food crisis without restoring Ukrainian food production, as well as fertilizer produced by Russia and Belarus, in the world market.
Mr Guterres also said he was “closely linked” with Russia and Ukraine, as well as with the US and the EU, in an effort to bring food supplies back to normal.
“Serious security, economic and financial issues need to be favored on all sides,” he said.
His comments came the same day as the World Bank announced another $ 12bn (£ 9.7bn) deal on projects that address food insecurity.
This initiative will bring the total amount available for such projects to over £ 30bn in the next 15 months.
Russia and Ukraine produce 30% of the world’s total wheat and – before the war – Ukraine was seen as a basket of world bread, exporting 4.5 million tons of agricultural produce per month through its ports.
But since Russia launched its offensive in February, exports have fallen and prices have risen sharply. They have risen sharply after India banned the export of wheat on Saturday.
The UN estimates that some 20 million tons of grain have been stored in Ukraine since the previous harvest, which, if released, could ease pressure on world markets.
While the number of people facing food insecurity has been growing even before the attack, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock blamed Moscow for making the crisis worse on Wednesday.
“Russia has launched a grain war, which has created a global food crisis,” a Berlin official said. “It does this at a time when millions of people are at risk of starvation, especially in the Middle East and Africa.”
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the world was facing “a major global food crisis in our time” exacerbated by what he called the “war of choice” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.