The Secretary General of the UN, Anthony Guterressaid on Wednesday that the problem of world food security cannot be solved without restoring Ukraine’s agricultural production and Russia’s food and fertilizer shipments to the international market.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February added to volatility in financial markets, driving up commodity prices and affecting logistics, which could derail post-Covid-19 economic recovery in many countries, including Nigeria.

“Our analysis indicates that the war in Ukraine is only making things worse, setting in motion a three-dimensional crisis that is devastating the global food, energy and financial systems of developing countries,” Guterres told reporters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

“There really is no real solution to the problem of world food security without bringing Ukraine’s agricultural production and Russia’s and Belarus’s food and fertilizer production back to the global market despite the war,” he said.

Guterres said he was determined to facilitate dialogue to help achieve those goals.

Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after the country was unable to import the fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigeria’s sovereign investment authority NSIA said.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had caused a “major negative impact” in sub-Saharan Africa, driving up food and energy prices and putting the most vulnerable people at risk of starvation.

The added pressure comes as many countries are still recovering from the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to ensure a steady flow of food and energy through open markets by lifting all unnecessary export restrictions, directing surpluses and stocks to those who need them, and staying ahead of food prices to curb market volatility,” he said. Guterres.



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