Global food crisis; war’s spectral shadow looms large

Global food crisis

Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, is warning of a looming disastrous global food crisis.

The Italian version of the paper devoted most of its 24 May front page to the matter saying the crisis will be particularly catastrophic in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia.

The paper says the food shortage is a direct result of the war in Ukraine and will most likely be catastrophic in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Citing reports from CNN, The Guardian and The Times on the grain shortage, the L’Osservatore mentions a possible military response to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain exports.

“A war within the war could in the long run even lead to a greater number of deaths than the conflict itself if the deadlock linked to the tons of grain still in the ports of Ukraine is not resolved,” says the L’Osservatore.

L’Osservatore Romano is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world. It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication.

The paper reports there are some 22 million tons of corn blocked from distribution from which the Russians are constantly stealing.

It is urging the world community to help Ukraine unblock seaports otherwise an energy crisis will be followed by a global food crisis.

“The time we have left is very short.

“We are approaching a new harvest and there is no other practical way to export grain other than through the Black Sea port of Odessa, “Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Lithuanian minister has proposed a naval operation not managed by NATO, that would protect ships loaded with grain as they sail across the Black Sea beyond the Russian blockade.

Landsbergis also suggested that countries affected by grain shortages such as Egypt could help ensure the necessary protection.

The Times newspaper confirms that the UK is also working on the creation of a “coalition of the willing” to send warships to the Black Sea in order to offer a protected corridor to merchant ships carrying Ukrainian grain.

With this year’s wheat harvest estimated to be 40 per cent lower in Ukraine, Italian agricultural agency Coldiretti says the conflict has dealt a severe blow to the Ukrainian economy.


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