United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday, the problem of global food security could not be solved without restoring Ukrainian agricultural production and Russian food and fertilizer output to the world market.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February has added to volatility in financial markets, sending commodity prices higher and affecting logistics, potentially derailing the economic recovery from COVID-19 in many countries including Nigeria.
Guterres told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that he was determined to facilitate dialogue to help achieve the objective of bringing back Ukraine’s agriculture and Russia’s fertilizer production into the world market despite the war.
Speaking next to Gutteres, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said “the world is forgetting about us” due to the war in Ukraine.
Nigeria had to buy emergency supplies of Canadian potash in April after the country was unable to import the key fertilizer from Russia due to the impact of Western sanctions, the head of Nigeria’s sovereign investment authority NSIA said.
Last month, the International Monetary Fund said the Russian invasion of Ukraine had delivered a further “huge negative shock” to sub-Saharan Africa, driving food and energy prices higher and putting the most vulnerable people at risk of hunger.
The extra pressure comes as many countries are still reeling from the protracted COVID-19 pandemic.