US to work with Ukraine to get more grain


US officials said they were working with Ukraine to export at least three million tons of grain to help tackle the growing hunger crisis around the world, particularly in Africa. Before the Russian invasion, Ukraine exported six million tons of grain per month. But Russia’s naval blockade of the Black Sea means grain that could feed 400 million people is stuck in Ukraine.

Ukraine is stuck with millions of tonnes of grain in the country, unable to export to the rest of the world, which is facing food shortages and high food prices due to Russia’s invasion of the country. .

Jim O’Brien, the head of the State Department’s Office of Sanctions Coordination, says there is enough food to feed millions, but Russia’s invasion is making it difficult for them to get out of the country.

“So there are 20 million tonnes of grain right now waiting to come out in Ukraine. And again, in a normal year, all of that would already be on the market, and it’s not, and there is a reason. Now, there are many reasons why there is a global trend of declining food security… But it is 20 million tonnes, which could feed 200 to 400 million people. We just have to wait for Russia’s decision.

Russia and Ukraine are the world’s grain basket and the two countries export a quarter of the world’s grain.

Experts say grain shortages in other countries dependent on Ukrainian grain are creating high food prices and supply chain problems.

On Thursday, Senegalese President and African Union Chairman Macky Sall urged Ukraine to clear mines from the port of Odessa to help grain exports.

Russian <a class=President Vladimir Putin (R) attends a meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall, currently chair of the African Union, at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia June 3, 2022 in a Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin.” src=””/>

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attends a meeting with Senegalese President Macky Sall, currently chair of the African Union, at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia June 3, 2022 in a Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin.

Speaking to French media France 24 and RFI, Sall said if Africa did not get wheat from Ukraine, the continent would be in a famine which could create instability.

O’Brien notes that Russia is reducing Ukraine’s ability to produce its own food and food for the world.

“Ukraine was exporting about 6 million tonnes of grain per month, mainly to southern countries. And now it had to stop; in March and April it was very small. With our European partners, we are working very hard to get as much grain out as possible, but at best it will probably be about half of what it was before, and that’s because Russia has occupied or destroyed about 30% grain from Ukraine. -production capacity. It attacks grain storage and processing facilities.

Rising food and fuel prices and a drought not seen in East Africa for 40 years are leaving some 20 million people hungry.

West Africa and the Sahel region are also affected as the countries depend on wheat imports from both countries.
US Special Envoy for Global Food Security Dr. Cary Fowler said his country is helping African countries reduce hunger.

“So we have made great efforts to try, in an emergency situation, to provide more humanitarian aid, but we have also announced somewhat longer-term measures. I mentioned earlier that our … one of our flagship programs at the United States Agency for International Development is our Feed the Future program which involves a number of countries around the world, but really focuses – very intensively in a dozen countries, including eight, I believe, in Africa. We expect this program to expand.

The United States accuses Russia of stealing food from Ukraine and selling it to friendly countries.

Samuel Nyandemo teaches economics at the University of Nairobi. He says Africa will refuse to buy grain stolen from Russia but will seek other markets to meet the demand for food.

“I don’t think there is an African country willing to buy grain stolen from Ukraine and sold by Russia. They will look for better alternatives, especially in Argentina and other Latin American countries that also produce these grains. The best solution here is for Russia to come to the table with Ukraine, and they resolve this matter diplomatically.

US officials say they are working with Ukraine’s neighbors and the European Union to get as much grain out of the country as possible and support the initiative to lift the blockade on the port of Odessa.


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