Millions more children could face hunger crisis if Black Sea grain deal not renewed
A child impacted by the drought in Somalia sells chapatis to support her family (Sacha Myers / Save the Children)
LONDON/GENEVA, 8 March - Millions more children around the world could face devastating hunger if the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a UN-brokered deal signed in July 2022, is not renewed by 18 March, Save the Children said today, after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met with Ukraine’s President Zelensky to discuss the deal.
As war escalated in February last year, export routes from Ukraine froze up when cargo ships could not leave Black Sea ports, driving up food prices and threatening the lives of millions of children in countries in Africa and the Middle East who rely on grain staples.
Ukraine is one of the top-five global grain exporters worldwide, and around 25 countries in Africa import more than one third of wheat from Russian or Ukraine. The deal is currently allowing food to reach global supply chains, easing food prices and allowing grain staples to reach the most vulnerable children:
“The Black Sea Initiative must be extended beyond March. This grain deal is a lifeline for millions of children facing devastating hunger, which has been accelerated by the conflict. Failure to act now will prove catastrophic for children around the world and could cost thousands of lives.”
“The worst global food crisis in decades is putting millions of children’s lives on the line, and further disruptions to food supplies and price rises risk making the situation dramatically worse. Over 800 millionpeople are facing hunger globally, and children are already losing their lives”, said Nana Ndeda, Humanitarian Advocacy and Policy Lead, Save the Children.
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