On March 11, the G7 agriculture ministers and the EU agriculture commissioner met their Ukrainian colleague, as well as the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).
They issued the following statement in support of Ukrainian farmers and the agricultural sector:
“We are all appalled and condemn the large-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, made possible by the Belarusian government.
“We are working to provide national, bilateral and international support to facilitate harvests in Ukraine and ensure the ability of Ukrainian farmers to feed their people and contribute to global food security. We call on international organizations to support food production in Ukraine during this crisis and to ensure food security in the affected areas. We remain committed to doing what is necessary to prevent and respond to a food crisis, including with humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to act as needed to address potential disruptions.
The organizations warn that the impacts on food security and the growing number of people suffering from hunger and all forms of malnutrition will only increase suffering in the region and put pressure on food security worldwide.
“We deeply condemn Russia’s attack on Ukraine. As Ministers of Agriculture, we are very alarmed by the targeting of critical agricultural infrastructure, including transport and storage, which has significant regional implications. Given that Ukraine is the fourth largest supplier of wheat and produces half of the world’s sunflower oil exports, this will further have global impacts on food systems and food insecurity.
“We are committed to close cooperation and to taking concrete measures to safeguard global food security and nutrition, in particular by supporting the food security of the Ukrainian population. We reaffirm the importance of working together to maintain the flow of food, products, seasonal labor and essential inputs for agricultural and food production across borders in accordance with all measures adopted in response to the current situation. Additionally, we will work together to address transportation challenges for food exports and raw material production.
Members call on all countries to keep their food and agricultural markets open and to guard against any unjustified restrictive measures on their exports. Any further increases in food prices and volatility in international markets could threaten global food security and nutrition, especially among the most vulnerable living in low food security environments.
“We remain united with our partners and with the government and people of Ukraine during this crisis,” they say. “We will continue our close cooperation to address the impacts of war, including on agricultural and food trade, food security and nutrition.”