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Ukraine food crisis – urgent questions from Sarah Champion MP

21 April 2022

Worldwide food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, and the extreme food emergency in Ukraine itself, have prompted the Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, to ask the government a series of urgent questions.

Ms Champion has written to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary, Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, asking for details about the UK’s response to the crisis.

On the situation inside Ukraine, Sarah Champion MP said 12 million Ukrainians need food assistance because of Russia’s invasion. In her letter, the Chair of the International Development Committee asked the Foreign Secretary for a detailed update on UK food assistance in Ukraine, including the amount of UK food assistance disbursed and how the UK is providing practical support to aid workers distributing food, such as such as through the provision of personal protective equipment and fuel.

Sarah Champion MP also asked Elizabeth Truss MP about worsening global food insecurity brought about by the conflict. The fighting has limited exports from three major international agricultural produce exporters - Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, she said, and this situation was further worsened by Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea. Sarah Champion MP said the conflict is disrupting – and making more expensive - the work of food aid organisations such as the UN World Food Programme.

The cost of food aid for fragile countries around the world had soared, Ms Champion wrote. She asked the Foreign Secretary how much food aid the UK was supplying, both overall and to a group of named countries – Afghanistan, Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Niger, South Sudan and Yemen.

The Chair of the International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP said:

“I am urgently seeking information about this unprecedented crisis because the food shortages and soaring food prices I have outlined are causing a serious rise in global malnutrition – and even threatening to create famines.

“The most marginalised people in the world had already been hit by the pandemic and extreme weather influenced by global warming. Now they face a food disaster as well – and 12m Ukrainians are now adding to their numbers.

“We must identify the most urgent pinch points in this mounting tragedy. And then we must help where we can.

“The British people, who have been so generous in giving money - even offering to open up their homes to the needy - expect no less.”

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