Major agricultural producers including the European Union, United States, Canada and Australia, pledged on Friday to ensure global food security despite the disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Belga News Agency reports.
"We are committed to working together to ensure that sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food continues to be available and accessible at all times to all people, including the poorest, the most vulnerable and the displaced,” the 51 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said in a joint statement.
They promised to keep agricultural and food markets “open, predictable and transparent by not imposing unjustified trade-restrictive measures on agricultural and agri-food products or key agricultural production inputs.”
The signatories stressed that emergency measures introduced to mitigate food security impacts “should be as undisruptive as possible, targeted, proportionate and temporary.”
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They also committed to not “imposing export prohibitions or restrictions on foodstuff purchased for non-commercial humanitarian purposes” by the World Food Programme. The organisation is on the frontlines of the effort to offset the huge losses caused by the effects of the war in Ukraine on its usually massive production of grains and oils.
Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed and sunflower oil. Russia is also the world’s biggest exporter of fertilisers and gas.
The offensive launched by Moscow in Ukraine on 24 February and the resulting economic sanctions against Russia have interrupted the supply of grains and other raw food from both countries, causing the prices for food and other commodities such as fuel, to spike – especially in developing countries.