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EU warns of "looming global food security crisis" due to Ukraine war

BRUSSELS, May 20 (KUNA) -- European Union Development Ministers met in Brussels Friday to discuss the "looming global food security crisis" generated by the Russian military operation in Ukraine.
Ministers were informed about the gravity of the situation and its implications worldwide. In 2021, Russia and Ukraine were among the top world exporters of cereals and sunflower seeds and oil with Ukraine accounting for over 50 per cent of world trade of sunflower oil.
It is estimated that because of the conflict between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the areas under winter cereal, maize and sunflower seed production in Ukraine will either remain unharvested or not be planted this spring because of the ongoing conflict.
This will severely impact vulnerable populations around the world, particularly in low-income countries who depend on food and fertiliser imports, warned the statement.
The 27-member bloc will support over 70 partner countries in boosting output and the resilience and sustainability of their food systems, to increase food security in the medium term.
Moreover, the EU is committed to release 20 million tons of grains currently blocked in Ukraineآ’s silos by the war, and put them in the global markets as quickly as possible.
The EU will work even more closely with and in the United Nations, the G7, the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission initiative, and other formats for global cooperation on this crisis.
EU Development ministers had an informal exchange of views with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who provided an overview of the global situation and the work carried out by the UNHCR.
The discussion focused on Ukraine, the Sahel, Afghanistan and Myanmar among others. Currently, there are over 100 million people forcibly displaced around the world, noted the statement. (end) nk