GENEVA (Reuters) – Here are some comments from international organizations working in the fields of aid, international trade and food security on Russia’s decision to halt its participation in the Black Sea grain deal.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), wrote on Twitter:
“Deeply disappointed by the termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the disruption of Ukraine’s grain trade… The Black Sea trade in food, feed and fertilizer is critical to the stability of world food prices. It is sad to say that poor people and poor countries are the most affected. Let’s keep hope alive in renewal.”
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told Reuters:
“It is completely reckless not to renew the agreement. They need to come back to the negotiating table… Children are being cut rations every day all over the world, it is absolutely dramatic and this (agreement) was one of the few”. glimmers of hope in this time of biblical famine.
Political cartoons about world leaders
Cindy McCain, director of the World Food Program, wrote on Twitter:
“The Black Sea Initiative has been a lifeline for millions during an unprecedented global hunger crisis. Yet today, Russia decided to end it. Families in need around the world do not deserve to be collateral victims of this war. We must find the way to follow. “
Nana Ndeda, Save the Children’s Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Officer, said in a statement:
“The failure to renew the Black Sea Initiative today is a huge blow that threatens the lives of vulnerable children living in countries in Africa and the Middle East that depend on basic grains. The grain deal was a lifeline for millions of boys and girls facing devastating hunger. Not renewing this initiative will be catastrophic for children around the world and will cost thousands of lives.”
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement:
“The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is deeply alarmed by Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, putting the future of the region’s grain exports at risk, a decision they will regret. Very painfully the 349 million people around the world face food insecurity today. From the Ukraine to Somalia, IRC clients are facing the ripple effects on food and energy prices of 500 days of war. The expiration of the agreement risks jeopardizing global food security.
Alberta Guerra, ActionAid’s food policy expert, said in a statement:
“It’s really alarming to see Russia withdraw from the Black Sea grain deal. World food prices have fallen in recent months and with it the cost of grain, thanks to this initiative. Without it, we are likely to see prices will grow again, further exacerbating the dire situations facing many vulnerable countries already facing acute hunger.”
(Reporting by Emma Farge, Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Leah Douglas; Editing by Christina Fincher)
Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.