Political organization

EU commitment to alleviate food crisis should set precedent – ​​The World Peace Organization

The EU has pledged €600 million to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to help alleviate the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. Support will be provided through humanitarian assistance, macroeconomic support, sustainable production and food systems resilience. The majority of the funds go to the latter in the medium to long term, while the other funds provide immediate assistance to the countries themselves and to the IMF. The new measure was announced during the European Development Days 2022 in Brussels on June 21.

Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “The most vulnerable are facing enormous suffering with a worsening food crisis following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. With these additional 600 million euros, we will strengthen our support to face the crisis, while contributing to sustainable and resilient food systems. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promoted the measure, saying that “Russia’s war of aggression exacts an insane heavy toll, not only on the people of Ukraine, but also on the most vulnerable people in the world… To help our partners, we will mobilize an additional 600 million euros to avoid a food crisis and an economic shock.

This promised assistance is crucial to dealing with the effects of war, especially in such a globally connected society. With much of the focus currently on Ukraine, it is essential not to forget the other impacts that war and sanctions can have in countries not directly involved, such as those in Africa, the Caribbean and the Peaceful. The EU plan is a positive step in addressing these effects and ensuring that innocent people are not negatively affected by wars waged by other parties, whether other countries or leaders with which they disagree. Contributing over time to sustainable and resilient food systems will also address this long term, allowing these countries to no longer depend on others, making them less vulnerable to global crises and events in other countries.

The EU was initially divided on whether to adopt the plan due to the intention to help African countries build their own fertilizer factories, according to Reuters. However, its positive impact will clearly outweigh their concerns. The European Commission has explicitly opposed the plan, saying it goes against EU energy and environmental policies, which do not support the use or production of chemical fertilizers. Instead, the Commission said the EU should develop a plan that only encourages alternatives to fertilizers or more efficient use of fertilizers that countries are able to acquire. While this is a significant concern, the people who suffer immediately must also be taken into account, and their current needs go beyond the concerns of the Commission.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent war and sanctions disrupted the food market, leading to a shortage of imported food around the world. According The New York Times, many grain routes out of Ukraine to market were blocked by war, and some grain reserves were destroyed by Russian attacks. Russia and Belarus have said they will release the grain in exchange for sanctions relief, but Western countries are unwilling to ease the pressure at the risk of escalating the war. This has caused a stalemate, with countries having the capacity to help face a dilemma between punishing invasions and helping to starve innocent people.

While it is necessary to provide aid to those in Ukraine who are directly affected by the Russian invasion and the ensuing war, it is also important to note the repercussions around the world. EU actions should serve as an example of how other countries with the means to provide assistance should act, demonstrating a way to provide much-needed assistance without compromising their political position. These countries must redirect some of their focus and spending to providing immediate and long-term assistance to people feeling the disastrous global effects of this war.