WFP Executive Director Statement on Impact of Conflict in Ukraine

Photo: WFP/Deborah Nguyen/2016
Published February 24, 2022

ROME – We are deeply concerned about the evolving conflict in Ukraine and its potential impact on access to food for civilians in affected areas and on our operations globally. Our thoughts are with all those who have been caught up in this crisis and we echo the United Nations Secretary General’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) team is on the ground, and we are ready to step up as needed provided that access is granted, and resources are available. We appeal to all parties to ensure that affected communities have continued access to any humanitarian support they may require and that the safety of humanitarian staff on the ground is guaranteed.

Conflict is a main driver of hunger and food insecurity in the world. We now have 283 million people marching towards starvation with 45 million knocking on famine’s door. The world cannot afford to let another conflict drive the numbers of hungry people even higher.

The Black Sea basin is one of the world’s most important areas for grain and agricultural production, and the food security impact of the conflict will likely be felt beyond Ukraine’s border, especially on the poorest of the poor. Interruption to the flow of grain out of the Black Sea region will increase prices and add further fuel to food inflation at a time when its affordability is a concern across the globe following the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.N. World Food Programme operated in eastern Ukraine from 2014 to 2018, reaching more than 1 million people through cash, food vouchers or locally purchased food rations, while operating in both government- and non-government-controlled areas. We remain committed to support all affected populations in Ukraine and in neighboring countries as required.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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