Experts fear the worst crisis since the end of the Second World War: the number of starving people is increasing dramatically. The G7 pledge money – but there is no answer to an important question.

In the fight against an impending hunger crisis, the G7 countries have committed to providing a further 4.5 billion US dollars for global food security.

The leading democratic economic powers also called on Russia in a statement on Tuesday to end the blockade of Ukrainian ports without conditions. Wheat silos and other agricultural infrastructure should no longer be destroyed. “These (activities) can only be seen as a geopolitically motivated attack on global food security,” said the paper from the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria. Development organizations complained that the commitments were not enough.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that the G7 were trying to enable grain exports from the war zone. Ukraine and Russia are the world’s largest wheat exporters. Normally, they cover almost a third of global demand. However, because Russia is blocking Ukrainian ports, a lot of grain cannot be exported. In addition, lower quantities have at least temporarily pushed up prices on the world markets. Countries in Africa and Asia are therefore in danger of not being supplied.

Corona and war exacerbate the situation

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) assumes that the corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine have exacerbated the global hunger crisis in an extreme way. According to this, 345 million people in 82 countries are currently suffering from hunger. The number has more than doubled in just over two years. According to experts, the worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War is imminent. The situation in Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia is considered catastrophic.

A senior US official accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of using “food as a weapon of war”. It was estimated that up to 40 million people could be pushed into poverty this year as a result of Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

According to him, more than half of the promised financial aid comes from the United States. US President Joe Biden will pledge $2.76 billion in additional US funding for efforts in more than 47 countries and regional organizations at the summit. $2 billion of that would be used to save lives through direct humanitarian action. $760 million is earmarked for sustainable short- and medium-term food aid.

Development organizations are demanding more

The funds from the G7 countries for global food security have thus totaled more than 14 billion US dollars since the beginning of the year. Development organizations consider this to be far too little. The director of One Germany, Stephan Exo-Kreischer, criticized Chancellor Scholz as the host of the G7 summit, who failed to secure sufficient commitments against the hunger crisis. The World Food Program needs 21.5 billion US dollars this year. “In addition, the G7 have not yet answered how they intend to help unblock the Black Sea so that Ukrainian wheat finally reaches the people who urgently need it,” he stressed.

Oxfam Germany described the summit resolutions as “glamor intended to distract from the historical failure of the G7”. At least an additional $28 billion is needed to end hunger and fund the United Nations’ appeals for aid. There is also no debt relief. For every dollar in aid, there would be two dollars that low-income countries would have to pay their creditors. “The G7 should have agreed that this debt would be canceled,” criticized Oxfam.

Now history threatens to repeat itself: At the last G7 summit in Elmau, the heads of state and government committed themselves to reducing the number of starving people by 500 million. Instead, there are now 335 million more hungry people in the world.