Journalism of Courage

African Union chairman fears ‘catastrophic’ food crisis from Ukraine war

“This crisis affects our countries particularly because of their strong dependency on Russian and Ukrainian wheat production,” said Mr Sall, according to a written copy of his remarks obtained by Persecondnews.com .

 

Macky Sall, chairman of the African Union and president of Senegal, has revealed a worrying food crisis  saying “the worst may be ahead of us”, in an address to the European Union as it discussed the fallout of the war in Ukraine.

The blockade of grain exports from Ukraine could lead to a “catastrophic scenario” of rising prices and food shortages in Africa, Sall told European leaders on Tuesday.

Mr Sall said fertiliser prices had trebled since last year and that grain yields in Africa were poised to slump by between 20 and 50 per cent this year.

Mr Sall called on Europe and Africa to speak with one voice at a time when the Kremlin is pointing the finger at western sanctions for the food crisis, the official said.

But the African leader told EU presidents and prime ministers that sanctions against international payments system Swift were making it more complicated to buy food.

Western leaders reject the Russian narrative and say Moscow is responsible for bringing food exports to a halt by bombarding Ukrainian warehouses and blocking its Black Sea ports.

“This crisis affects our countries particularly because of their strong dependency on Russian and Ukrainian wheat production,” said Mr Sall, according to a written copy of his remarks obtained by Persecondnews.com .

“We want everything to be done to free the available cereal stocks and ensure transportation and access to the market, to avoid the catastrophic scenario of shortages and widespread price rises.”

UN agencies have spoken of alarming food insecurity resulting from the war. The World Food Programme has said it is rationing supplies to displaced people, and the EU blames the crisis for runaway bread prices in Lebanon.

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