Responding to reports that the first shipment of grain left Ukraine today, Eric Munoz, Oxfam America Food and Agriculture Expert, said:
“Oxfam welcomes this news but warns that lifting the grain blockade alone will not solve the global hunger crisis. The recent hostilities in Odessa and Mykolaiv show that the export agreement is still fragile and we call on all parties to ensure the rapid delivery of grain.
“What the world faces today is not a new crisis. While the war in Ukraine contributed to soaring food prices, global hunger was already on the rise – as many as 828 million people were hungry in 2021.
“We need to rethink how we feed our world. Governments must build a sustainable and just food system that does not harm the planet or already vulnerable people, and that can withstand similar economic shocks. Leaders must increase investments that support small farmers who already feed a third of the world’s population.
“They must also provide vital aid to respond to the United Nations’ global call to help those already on the brink of starvation.
“International law protects civilian infrastructure, such as ports and silos for storing food. They should never come under attack because transporting food to conflict areas is essential to saving lives.