United Nations: The Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) within United Nations, Carl Skau, expressed his concerns at the collapse of the Black Sea Grain Initiative. The initiative played a crucial role in alleviating hunger in some of the most severely affected regions, such as Afghanistan and Yemen by shipping more than 725000 tonnes of grains.
Effects of Ukraine-Russia War
Skau highlighted Ukraine’s important role to WFP as a provider of competitively priced and high quality grains. Unfortunately, with the termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine can no longer serve this capacity. This lose is matter of grave concern, majorly when millions of people are in dire need of food.
Russian president Vladimir Putin pledged in African-Russian Summit to provide free grain to six African nations after walking out of initiative. Skau clarified that WFP is not in any discussion with Russia about providing the said ‘free grains’. WFP operates on full cost recovery principles and buys grains from most expedient and affordable sources to aid its beneficiary.
Moreover, WFP faces an increasing challenging funding crisis, further complicating its efforts to address acute hunger levels. As funding for relief operations declines, humanitarian organisations like the WFP are compelled to reduce or even cut assistance in some countries. This crisis forces the agency to make difficult choice in prioritizing assistance, potentially leaving those in “crisis level” without aid, further raising humanitarian need in future.
With at least 38 of WFP’s 86 country operations experiencing or planning cuts in food assistance programme, critical regions like Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, and parts of West Africa will affect. Such reductions may lead to a humanitarian “doom loop”, where assisting some starving individuals comes at the cost of millions of others.
345 Million People Face Acute Food Shortage
The global food security remains precarious with around 345 million people are facing acute food shortage, while many more at the risk of falling in same category due to Climate Change, natural calamities, inflation, conflicts and insecurity. Skau urged world leaders to prioritize funding for humanitarian responses, enhance coordination with aid organizations, and address the root causes of these crises. Taking such decisive action is crucial to prevent further escalation of acute hunger and ensure that assistance reaches those in dire need.