London, (Business News Report)|| The World Food Programme confirmed that the continuation of the Ukrainian war threatens the food security of 125 million people around the world.
Ukraine had gone “from the breadbasket of the world to breadlines,” said David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme.
“It’s not just decimating dynamically Ukraine and the region, but it will have global context impact beyond anything we’ve seen since World War Two,” Beasley told the United Nations Security Council.
Beasley added that 50% of the grain bought by the WFP, the food-assistance branch of the United Nations, comes from Ukraine, “so you can only assume the devastation that this is going to have on our operations alone.”
“The farmers are on the frontlines,” he added, saying that the crisis was exacerbated by the shortage of fertilizer products coming from Belarus and Russia.
“If you don’t put fertilizer on the crops, your yield will be at least 50% diminished. So we’re looking at what could be a catastrophe on top of a catastrophe in the months ahead,” he told the council.
He warned that “the world will pay a mighty price and the last thing we want to be doing as the World Food Programme is taking food from hungry children to give to starving children.”
In a related context, US wheat futures fell 4% and corn futures fell by 4%, while comments from Russia and Ukraine, after talks in Turkey, revived hopes for a ceasefire in the conflict that has disrupted large grain exports from the Black Sea region.
Trading, however, was choppy, with benchmark May wheat contracts swinging in the Chicago Board of Trade in a whopping 96 cents range, from a session high of nearly $10.68 a bushel in the early moves to $9.72 a bushel.
The Chicago Board of Trade May wheat futures fell about 42 cents to about $10.14 a bushel upon settlement, while the May corn contracts ended trading down about 22 cents to $7.26 a bushel, and soybeans fell about 21 cents to $16.43 a bushel.
The wheat market has been in turmoil since Ukrainian war started on February 24.
The two countries are major wheat exporters, while Ukraine is also a major global supplier of corn.