The Pope Francis launched a call to the world what for avoid using wheat as a weapon of war against the blockade of the exports of that cereal in Ukrainewhat can unleash a serious food crisis that would affect the poorest countries.
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“I make an urgent appeal for all efforts to resolve this issue and to guarantee the universal human right to food. Please, don’t use wheat, a staple food, as a weapon of war!” the pope cried out during the traditional Wednesday audience in St. Peter’s Square.
“The blockade of Ukraine’s wheat exports, on which the lives of millions of people depend, especially in the poorest countries, is very worrying,” he stressed.
the conflict ofchained by Russia and retaliatory sanctions have undermined the global food balance, threatening many countries in Africa and Asia with famine.
Due to the blockade imposed by the Russian army in the Black Seawhich paralyzes the strategic port of Odessa, Ukraine – one of the world’s granaries – is desperately trying to export some 20 million tons of grain stored in its silos.
The UN fears “a hurricane of famines” in African countries that import more than half of their wheat from the Ukraine or Russia.
The sanctions against Russia – the fourth largest world producer of wheat according to the United States Department of Agriculture – for the invasion of Ukraine, and the 30% drop in Ukrainian production (seventh producer), added to the decision of India (third producer ) to ban exports of this cereal, suggested that wheat from the Southern Cone (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) could help fill the gap between global demand and supply.
But climate, costs and internal consumption needs eliminate this possibility, according to several experts in the region.
With information from AFP