According to US President Joe Biden, leaders considered the potential for food shortages as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine-although it’s not exactly clear how a conflict in Europe will drastically affect the United States as far as staple foods, such as corn and wheat.
Biden predicted “serious” food shortages, referring to Ukraine and Russia as Europe’s “breadbasket”- the two countries’ combined wheat supplies account for over 30% of worldwide wheat commerce.
“The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia. It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well,” Biden said in remarks after an emergency NATO meeting in Brussels. This means that the Russian sanctions are coming home to roast-doesn’t like like anyone will be spared.
“We had a long discussion in the G7 with … both the United States, which has a significant — the third largest producer of wheat in the world — as well as Canada, which is also a major, major producer. And we both talked about how we could increase and disseminate food more rapidly … In addition to that, we talked about urging all the European countries and everyone else to end trade restrictions on sending, limitations on sending food abroad. So we are in the process of working out with our European friends what it would be, what it would take to help alleviate the concerns relative to food shortages,” he said.
In addition, Biden indicated a “substantial” US investment model for humanitarian aid, which would include food.
Separately, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the specifics of a proposed EU-led food security program aimed at reducing the danger of war-related food shortages.
“This situation will create a food crisis, extremely serious humanitarian situations in several countries and are sure to have massive political consequences in several countries,” Macron said at a news conference in Brussels on Thursday.
According to a document issued by the Elysée, Russia is the world’s greatest wheat exporter (33 million tons in 2021), followed by Ukraine (fourth largest exporter, with 20 million tons in 2021).
According to the report, 27 predominantly African and Middle Eastern countries import more than half of their wheat from Russia or Ukraine.
The document’s three-pronged approach would rely on measures like keeping crisis grain stockpiles available to “prevent any shortages and keep prices down,” strengthening output thresholds, and increasing investments in sustainable agriculture in the worst-affected countries. Basically, the way to avoid hunger is to go get food. Presumably, homelessness can be ameliorated the exact same way-just go get a house.