David Beasley, executive director of the U.N. World Food Program, told the U.N. Security Council that already high food prices are skyrocketing. The war in Ukraine is turning “the breadbasket of the world to breadlines” for millions of its people, while devastating countries like Egypt which normally gets 85% of its grain from Ukraine, and Lebanon which got 81% in 2020, Beasley said.
Ukraine and Russia produce 30% of the world’s wheat supply, 20% of its corn, and 75%-80% of the sunflower seed oil. The World Food Program buys 50% of its grain from Ukraine, he said.
Russia is blaming the West’s sanctions for the food crisis. Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, retorted that the Russian military is “posing no threat to the freedom of civilian navigation.” He said that Russia has set up an 80 nautical-mile-long humanitarian corridor to allow foreign vessels to leave Ukrainian ports and that it is organizing humanitarian corridors every day within Ukraine to Russia and the West. “The real reasons why the global food market is facing serious turbulence are by no means in the actions of Russia, (but) rather in the unbridled sanctions hysteria that the West has unleashed against Russia without considering the population of the so-called Global South nor of its own citizens,” Nebenzia said.