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Food Security Concerns caused by Russia’s back out from Black Sea Grain Initiative

Food Security

Russia’s recent announcement of pulling out from the Black Sea Grain Initiative. It has intensified concerns about global food security, particularly impacting grain exports from key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea.

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Overview of the Black Sea Grain Initiative:

Initiated in May 2022 under UN and Turkish mediation, the initiative aimed to address rising food prices and food insecurity triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its blockage of Ukrainian cargos in the Black Sea.

Key Components:

  • Efforts centered around ensuring uninterrupted exports from critical Ukrainian ports: Odessa, Chornomorsk, and Yuzhny.
  • A Joint Coordination Centre (JCC), headquartered in Istanbul, facilitated this initiative. It comprises representatives from Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Nations, monitoring its implementation.

Impact and Disruption:

  • Ukraine and Russia, being major grain and sunflower oil exporters, play a crucial role in global food supply.
  • Russia’s withdrawal has disrupted food supplies to nations highly reliant on Ukrainian grains. An estimated 33.5 million tonnes of agricultural products had already been traded under this initiative.

Russia’s Demands and Threats:

  • Russia linked the continuation of the grain deal to lifting sanctions on the Russian Agricultural Bank and reopening supply lines for agricultural machinery and parts.
  • Warning ships bound for Ukrainian ports as potential military cargo escalates tensions and jeopardizes the supply chain.

Food as a Strategic Weapon:

  • Deliberate attacks on ports exporting grains have drawn attention to the strategic use of food as a weapon in conflicts, echoing painful historical famines like Ukraine’s ‘Holodomor’ in 1932-33.
  • Historical instances, such as the Lieber Code of 1863 and Adolf Hitler’s “Hunger Plan” during World War II, underscore how controlling food supplies influences conflicts.

Call for Global Action:

  • The UN Security Council previously condemned “starvation as a method of warfare” through Resolution 2417 in 2018.
  • The withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative signifies a concerning version of using food as a weapon. This not only affects local populations but also disrupts global supply chains.

The withdrawal’s implications highlight the critical need for international cooperation to safeguard food security and prevent strategic manipulation of global food supplies in times of conflict.

Read Also: All About : Internal Security in India

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