13/06/2022

UUP Concerned Over 'Potentially Devastating Impact' On Global Food Chain

UUP Finance Spokesperson, Steve Aiken, has urged the Prime Minister to convene a summit involving the UK Government and all the devolved administrations to help prepare for the potentially devastating impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global access to food.

Steve Aiken said: “Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea has greatly inhibited Ukraine grain exports and this is a major problem because Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil.

“We are in danger of sleep-walking into an existential crisis. The grain shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine coupled with disastrous droughts in parts of the world and steep rises in energy costs will all have downstream consequences and we in the UK will not be immune.
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“Everyone should take notice of the warning earlier this week from the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine coupled with other crises ‘is threatening to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution.’

“The UN Secretary General also pointed out that ‘Food prices are at near-record highs. Fertilizer prices have more than doubled, sounding an alarm everywhere. Without fertilizers shortages will spread from corn to wheat to all staple crops, including rice, with a devastating impact on billions of people in Asia and South America too.’

“It is vital that the UK Government acts swiftly and that is why I have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to convene a summit involving the UK Government and all the devolved administrations to help us prepare for what may lie ahead.”

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