~ by Chris Herlinger, Global Sisters Report
In an issue of import to religious sisters and the wider church, Baltimore based Catholic Relief Services has warned that the war in Ukraine is having serious effects on global hunger.
During recent congressional testimony about eh pending U.S. Farm Bill, Bill O’Keefe, Catholic Relief Services’ Executive Vice-President for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy, said the war is compounding already-existing problems.
“After decades of progress, global hunger has steadily risen for seven consecutive years. The ‘three Cs’ – conflict, climate change and COVID-19 – are exacerbating chronic and severe food insecurity for people living in highly vulnerable and fragile contexts,” O’Keefe said. “We at CRS are not the hyperbolic type, but we are extremely concerned.”
O’Keefe told the panel that the Ukraine conflict “is having an undeniable impact on the state of global food security within Ukraine and around the world.”
Noting that Ukraine is a top exporter of wheat and sunflower oil, countries in north and east Africa and the Middle East “are already feeling the effects of food price spikes and global supply shortages,” said O’Keefe.
“Countries on the brink of famine, like South Sudan, Yemen and in the Horn of Africa, are particularly vulnerable to the worsening impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine. While there is great uncertainty as to how significantly food prices and availability will be impacted over the next four to six months, it is clear that the worst is yet to come,” noted O’Keefe.