A coalition of fifteen international aid organisations are warning the conflict in Ukraine is causing “suffering far beyond its borders, including through the twin impact of rising food and energy costs” and have urged the UK Government to play a leading role in helping people around the world facing hunger and malnutrition.
Patrick Watt, Christian Aid’s interim Chief Executive who signed an open letter alongside the CEOs of Save the Children, the British Red Cross, and other aid leaders, is demanding the UK Government matches “the spirit of the British people in tackling rising global hunger”.
This intervention comes as the World Bank calculates there could be a 37% jump in food prices because of the conflict. The President of the World Bank, David Malpass, said the crisis is “a political challenge for governments who can’t do anything about it.”
The international aid charities say the knock-on effects of soaring prices and broken supply chains for grains, cooking oil, fertiliser, and fuel is exacerbating pre-existing hunger crises for many countries, including in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, and the Middle East.
In an appeal to the UK Government, the international aid community is seeking new funding and action to prevent famine and to keep food affordable and stabilise prices, a reversal of cuts to international aid, and a commitment that funding for Ukraine is in addition to existing UK aid commitments.
The EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have now organised a Horn of Africa Roundtable on Tuesday 26th April to address the escalating hunger crisis in the region.
Patrick Watt, Christian Aid’s interim Chief Executive, said:
“The war in Ukraine has created collateral damage for fragile and war-torn countries like Yemen and Lebanon that rely on the region for resources, not least wheat imports.
“The public response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine is unprecedented. The UK Government must now match the spirit of the British people in tackling rising global hunger.
“We cannot accept the false choice of responding to Ukraine and fulfilling our responsibilities to the poorest people facing hunger. This crisis is global.
“The time for the UK Government to act and match words with funding is now. Millions will be at risk if we don’t.”
Written by: Christian Aid