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Ukraine invasion led to fastest-growing humanitarian crises: US at UNSC

US Deputy Secretary of State said the impacts of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war are being felt far beyond Ukraine's borders

United Nations

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ANI US
The United States on Tuesday (local time) said that Russia's bombardment of Ukraine's cities and critical infrastructure has created one of the fastest-growing humanitarian crises.
"Russia's ceaseless bombardment of Ukraine's cities and critical infrastructure has created one of the fastest-growing humanitarian crises in recent decades. Russian forces have laid siege to cities like Mariupol, where citizens have been left without food, water, heat, or electricity in the depths of winter," US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said at UN Security Council (UNSC).
Sherman said that the impacts of Russian President Vladimir Putin's war are being felt far beyond Ukraine's borders, as well - with some of the most immediate and dangerous implications for global food security.
"As has been said, Ukraine and Russia are both major agricultural producers. Thirty percent of the world's wheat exports typically come from the Black Sea region, as does 20 percent of the world's corn and 75 percent of sunflower oil," she said.
She continued saying that Russia has bombed at least three civilian ships carrying goods from Black Sea ports to the rest of the world, including one chartered by an agribusiness company.
"The Russian Navy is blocking access to Ukraine's ports, essentially cutting off exports of grain. They are reportedly preventing approximately 94 ships carrying food for the world market from reaching the Mediterranean. It's no wonder many shippers are now hesitant to send vessels into the Black Sea, even to Russian ports, given the danger posed by Russian forces," Sherman said.
She highlighted that already, food prices are skyrocketing in low- and middle-income countries as Russia chokes off Ukrainian exports.
"Across the Middle East and Africa, already-high prices for staple commodities, including wheat, have risen between 20 and 50 percent so far this year. We are particularly concerned about countries like Lebanon, Pakistan, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Morocco, which rely heavily on Ukrainian imports to feed their populations," she added.
Sherman said that Russia must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians, including those who are fleeing conflict and those who are providing humanitarian assistance.
"We hope that Putin will commit seriously to the peace talks underway. But we are focused on what Russian forces do, not what Russia says. Not what Putin says. And ultimately, the only way to end this humanitarian catastrophe is through a durable ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory and away from Ukraine's borders," she said.
"Putin started this war. He created this global food crisis. And he is the one who can stop it," Sherman added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 30 2022 | 7:07 AM IST

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