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UN chief: World faces multiple famines

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has warned that there may be multiple famines this year, Reuters reported.

Guterres made the statement via video to the G7 Ministerial Conference “Uniting for Global Food Security” in Berlin, at which United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Qu Dongyu outlined five steps to halt the global food crisis and transform agrifood systems.

Among the major threats to global food security and the functioning of agrifood systems, Qu cited the COVID-19 pandemic; the global interruption of supply chain and rising costs of major primary commodities; the war in Ukraine, and other top 10 conflicts and humanitarian crises across the world and their detrimental consequences.



The situation has been further aggravated by the long-term decreased investment in agrifood systems, facing pressure under climate change and population growth, he noted.

“We are at serious risk of facing a food access crisis now, and a food availability crisis for the next season,” the director-general said.



To address this situation, Qu outlined the following steps:

▪ Aid countries most severely affected by the increase in food prices

▪ Support the Integrated Phase Classification multi-partner initiative for improving food security and nutrition analysis and decision-making to expand the country coverage.

▪ Foster policies that increase productivity, efficiency, resilience, and inclusivity of agrifood systems.

▪ Reduce food loss and waste can improve food security and nutrition.

▪ Ensure better and more efficient use of available fertilizers

Speaking about market transparency and the need to stabilise prices, Qu highlighted the importance of keeping global trade system open through the Agricultural Market Information System.

The international conference was hosted by German government, represented by Minister for Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Svenja Schulze, and Minister of Food and Agriculture Cem Özdemir.

The conference brought together ministers and representatives from a diverse group of countries, including the G7, the UN Global Crisis Response Group Champions, key donor states, and the most vulnerable and affected countries, as well as leaders from international organizations such as the United Nations and from civil society.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made many of the same points in his remarks to the conference.

The German Foreign Ministry issued a statement of conclusions by the chairs, while Carl Bildt, a Swedish former prime minister and foreign minister, tweeted that talks will not lead the Russians to unblock the port of Odessa.

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