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Italy Warns Of 'bread War' In Africa As Russian Blockade Of Ukrainian Ports Continues

Earlier this month, a report published by the WFP noted that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has forced over 20 million people to suffer food shortages.


Image: AP

As Ukrainian ports have been blocked for three months in a row, an Italian minister believes a "bread war" has already begun in African nations. Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, said that the situation in several vulnerable countries, especially African nations, which are already facing the worst ever food crisis, has plunged into a further "food emergency". 

"The global bread war is already going on and we must stop it. We risk political instability in Africa. For the proliferation of terrorist organisations, for coups: this can lead to the grain crisis that we are experiencing," The Business Tribune quoted Di Maio as saying.

Further, he maintained that Russian President Vladimir Putin should have now reached an agreement in order to prevent the war and the food crisis. He accused Putin of blocking major Ukrainian ports since the onset of the brutal war and appealed to the Russian leader to unblock the ports in order to resume the export of Ukrainian grain to the whole world. He noted that around 30 lakh tonnes of grains are currently blocked at Ukrainian ports. "What we are doing is working for Russia to unblock wheat exports to Ukrainian ports, because right now we risk the breakout of new wars in Africa," he added. 

According to a recent report by The New York Times, Ukraine accounts for 10% of the wheat production in the world. However, due to the Russian aggression, the export of the cereal grain, a worldwide staple food, has reduced to one-tenth. The report stated that the war has cut off some international shipments of wheat, resulting in acute shortages and soaring prices globally.

Ukraine war: World Food Programme warns of dire consequences in African countries

Earlier this month, a report published by the World Food Programme (WFP) noted that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has forced more than 20 million people in the Horn of Africa to suffer from acute food shortages. Though the report noted that the condition was not up to the mark even before Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated a brutal war against Ukraine, the situation worsened as the major port that supplies agricultural production to the whole world remained blocked by Russian troops.

The WFP warned that if urgent relief was not provided to several countries in the Horn of Africa, the region would enter a phase of famine. Meanwhile, in Kenya, a country in East Africa with a coastline on the Indian Ocean, the number of people who are suffering from starvation has increased fourfold in the past two years. In Ethiopia, a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley, the situation is even grave as more than 70 lakh people are battling hunger every day.

(Image: AP)

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