As Ukraine’s war threatens global food security, the UN chief says he is “deeply concerned” about widespread hunger.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he is deeply concerned about widespread hunger as the war in Ukraine threatens food security in different parts of the world.
Speaking alongside the Austrian chancellor and foreign minister in Vienna on Wednesday, Guterres also said talks were underway to evacuate more civilians from conflict zones in Ukraine and expressed confidence that further evacuations would take place. in the future.
However, he downplayed the possibility of Ukraine peace talks taking place any time soon.
The war in Ukraine has sent world prices for grain, cooking oil, fuel and fertilizer soaring, and United Nations agencies warn that price hikes will worsen Africa’s food crisis.
The Russian invasion has disrupted shipping on the Black Sea, an important route for grains and other staples, strangling exports from Ukraine and Russia.
“I must say that I am deeply concerned, mainly about the risks of widespread hunger in different parts of the world due to the dramatic food security situation we are facing due to the war in Ukraine,” Guterres said.
Following a visit to Moldova, a small country that has opened its doors to an influx of refugees from neighboring Ukraine, Guterres urged the European Union to increase financial support for the Chisinau government.
More than 450,000 refugees from Ukraine have fled to Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe.
Guterres previously served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. He noted during his two-day visit to Moldova, where he met with Moldova’s leaders, that the small nation has absorbed the largest number of refugees in proportion to its own population of about 2.6 million people.
Speaking at an earlier event, Guterres said the time would come when there would be peace negotiations on Ukraine, but he did not see that time in the immediate future.
“This war will not last forever. There will be a time when peace negotiations will take place,” Guterres said at a news conference with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
“I don’t see that in the immediate future. But I can say one thing. We will never give up,” she added, in remarks translated into German by an official translator.