French foreign minister warns of global famine – POLITICO

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the EU must grapple with the prospect that the war in Ukraine could trigger an “extremely serious” global food crisis.

Russia and Ukraine are both gigantic grain exporters half of Africa’s wheat imports come from the two countries, while prices for food commodities have already risen sharply as a result of the conflict. Ukraine’s food exports have all but ground to a halt and its ability to grow and harvest food this year is threatened by the war.

“We have to get this new situation under control quickly,” said Le Drian called on arrival for a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday. But he gave few details on what the EU should do, apart from working closely with international agencies, partners and NGOs.

“It’s not sanctions that are wrecking global food security, it’s war,” he said, “because there are no sanctions on food. It is the war that is proving problematic and will bring with it the risk of famine tomorrow.

“We see the consequences of the war, the impossibility to reap, to sow, to export,” he added, speaking of Ukraine.

EU agriculture ministers meet on Monday to coordinate their responses to the crisis while the European Commission hosts a big event conference on humanity this week, which will also touch on food security.

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