UN chief Guterres warns of an “unprecedented wave of hunger and misery” – there are already first victims. It’s not just the war in Ukraine that’s to blame.

According to the UN, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, along with other crises, has led to the largest cost increases in a generation.

“For people around the world, the war in Ukraine threatens to unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and misery, leaving social and economic chaos in its wake,” the United Nations warned on Wednesday. 1.6 billion people worldwide suffered from the complex crisis of war, Covid-19 and climate change.

Around the world, more people are going hungry again, as the United Nations denounced. In addition, energy costs have risen drastically, while wages and salaries have fallen. The number of people suffering from food shortages has doubled in the past two years, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. By the end of the year, another 47 million people could be suffering from food shortages. “There is only one way to stop this gathering storm: the Russian invasion of Ukraine must end.”

Solution to the Russian grain blockade urgently sought

The UN chief emphasized that the United Nations was working with great pressure to solve the Russian grain blockade in Ukraine. UN negotiators have held talks in Moscow, Kyiv, Ankara, Brussels and Washington in recent weeks. According to diplomats, the possible diplomatic solution involves a package deal: while Ukraine is to be allowed to export millions of tons of grain, mainly from the port city of Odessa, through the Black Sea, Russia and Belarus should be able to bring fertilizers back onto the world market.

Guterres did not want to give details of the negotiations publicly on Wednesday so as not to jeopardize the chances of an agreement. Due to the upcoming harvest in Ukraine, a deal would have to be agreed within a few weeks, otherwise the storage capacities in the country would not be sufficient.

Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world. In Ukraine, Russia has blocked the export of 20 million tons of grain, mainly to North Africa and Asia, most of it in the port of Odessa. This is currently being felt in Somalia, for example, where the UN is warning of a huge famine. Somalia gets 50 percent of its wheat imports from Ukraine, 35 percent from Russia.

For the next year, the United Nations fear a famine of global proportions. Guterres: “This year’s food crisis is about lack of access to food. Next year it could be about the lack of food itself.”