Ukraine Conflict and Humanitarian Aid

Ukraine has witnessed intense fighting since 24 February 20...



With the apparent effort to lay siege to, starve and demoral...

Hunger as a Weapon of War

Eric MixApr 18, 2022 Updated Apr 20, 2022 (0)

Vladimir Putin is deliberately starving the people of Ukraine as “a weapon of war,” a UN official said Sunday.  “We've seen food depots that have been blown away,” the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, David Beasley, said on CBS's Face The Nation April 17.

Food aid is reaching some parts of Ukraine, he said, but Russia is blocking access in others. “There are places that we can't reach like Mariupol and other places where Russian forces have besieged the city.”

Beasley, speaking from Lviv, also predicted “destabilization of nations” and “mass migration” out of already troubled nations like Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan as well as Central America if food production in Ukraine is not restored. Ukraine grows enough food to feed 400 million people. Beasley said the WFP makes half of its grain purchases from Ukraine.

He said it was crucial to get farmers back in the fields and to re-open the Black Sea ports through which Ukraine's exports flow.  “This is a very serious problem if we don't get the farmers back to the field,” he said. “Equally as important is we've got to get the ports open again, cause the Black Sea is shut down right now… So that's got to be opened up. It's got to be demined. And it's got to happen quickly.”

With Russia's recent refocusing of its military operations in eastern Ukraine, there been reports of farmers having to wear bulletproof vests in order to continue working the fields, said show host Margaret Brennan.

“There's $430 trillion worth of wealth around the world today. There's no reason a single child should be dying from hunger,” Beasley said. But he noted that food shortages and price hikes have caused a $71 million increase in the WFP's operational costs each month. “So when we don't have enough money, well guess what? We have to choose which children eat and which children don't,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is take food from a hungry child to give to a starving child.”

Source: CBS News/Face The Nation


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