German minister calls for more action against hunger

German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, has called on the international community to increase its efforts in the fight against the worsening hunger crisis in many parts of the world.

Speaking at a conference on food security in Berlin on Friday, she said that “more than 44 billion euros (46.4 billion dollars) would be needed this year, of which only half had been accounted for so far.”

Baerbock said the situation was drastic, with 345 million people at risk of suffering from food scarcity.

“It is a hunger crisis that is looming over us like a life-threatening wave,” she said.

The reasons were partly to do with climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, “but only with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine did the wave become a tsunami.”

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Baerbock accused Russia of using hunger as a weapon and taking the whole world hostage.

The German development minister, Svenja Schulze, and agriculture minister, Cem Özdemir, were also present at the conference, along with around 50 delegations and roughly 40 ministers.

U.S. Foreign Minister, Antony Blinken, had also made the trip to Berlin.

Schulze said around 400 million people across the world relied on food from Ukraine.

However, not only have the deliveries from Ukraine stalled, the higher prices for food and energy on account of the war are hurting many more countries.

“It is always the poorest who suffer the most.

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“The government would supply a further 4 billion euros this year to fight hunger,” she said.

Schulze also emphasised the importance of avoiding future food shortages with more sustainable practices.

Planting more resilient and climate-adapted crops such as millet in developing countries, higher storage capacities on site, and more regional trade will be necessary, she said.

Özdemir criticised the multidimensional warfare of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said Russia was trying to defeat Ukraine militarily, wage a war of hunger against the global south, and a war of energy against the European Union.

“That is why today’s message is also: We will not be cowed by Putin,” Özdemir said. (dpa/NAN)

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