In response to reports that the first shipment of grain left Ukraine today, Eric Munoz Oxfam America Food and Agriculture expert said:
“Oxfam welcomes this news but warns that lifting the grains blockade alone will not solve the global hunger crisis. The recent hostilities in Odessa and Mykolaiv show that the exports agreement is still fragile and we call on all parties to ensure the swift delivery of grains.
“What the world is facing today is not a new crisis. While the war in Ukraine has contributed to skyrocketing food prices, global hunger was already on the rise– as many as 828 million people were hungry in 2021.
“We need to rethink how we feed our world. Governments must build a sustainable and just food system that does not harm the planet or already vulnerable people, and that can withstand similar economic shocks. Leaders must scale-up investments that support small-scale farmers who already feed one-third of the world’s population.
“They must also provide lifesaving aid to meet the UN global appeal to help those already on the brink of starvation.
“International law protects civilian infrastructure, such as ports and silos for storing food. They should never be subject to attack as moving food in conflict zones is essential to saving lives.”
Notes to editors
FAO’s “State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World 2022” report stated that as many as 828 million people were hungry in 2021, an increase of 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAO research states that small family farmers produce a third of the world’s food.