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Food insecurity: Italy supports Food Corridors and Solidarity Lanes in Ukraine

NEW YORK, MAY 19 – Italy calls for and supports the creation of Food Corridors in Ukraine, to be agreed among parties with the United Nations’ support and coordination, in order to allow maritime and land routes to work and deliver in the interest of millions of people. Italy also supports the initiative of the European Commission to establish Solidarity Lanes, in order to facilitate the shipping of Ukrainian goods to the rest of the world by using alternative routes through EU Member States. The Italian Permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Maurizio Massari, spoke along these lines today, addressing a Security Council meeting on “Conflict and Food Security,” convened by the United States and opened by Secretary General António Guterres and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with the directors of the WFP and FAO.

“When war is waged, people go hungry,”  said Guterres: some 60 per cent of the world’s undernourished people live in areas affected by conflict he said, adding that “no country is immune”. Last year, most of the 140 million people suffering acute hunger around the world lived in just ten countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – eight of which are on the Council’s agenda. “Let there be no doubt: when this Council debates conflict, you debate hunger. When you make decisions about peacekeeping and political missions, you make decisions about hunger. And when you fail to reach consensus, hungry people pay a high price,” Mr. Guterres spelled out, adding that the war in Ukraine “is now adding a frightening new dimension to this picture of global hunger“.

“Food security remains a fundamental priority for Italy and a key objective of our foreign policy and international cooperation action,” Ambassador Massari said, recalling Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio’s announcement yesterday in New York for an additional financial contribution to FAO and its “Food Coalition”, to support Ukraine’s food production capabilities. Italy also signed the “Road Map for Global Food Security-Call to Action” to reaffirm the commitment to act promptly, on a large scale and in concert to address urgent food security needs.

Massari stressed that “we need to ensure that food, currently blocked in Ukraine, can flow and reach its destinations, especially in Africa, the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The blockade of the ports, such as the port of Odessa, is a cause for serious concern”.

The Ambassador then highlighted Italy’s strong contribution to the G7 initiative for a “Global Alliance for Food Security” to accelerate the implementation of SDG2 “Zero Hunger” of the 2030 Agenda. In this context, Italy has convened a “Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Crisis” on June 8 to engage all relevant actors and address specific vulnerabilities in the region.

“This is why we encourage all relevant UN organs and entities to increase action on food insecurity, in particular along the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, and in close synergy with the leading action of the Rome-based agencies. We will continue to support the UN System and its multilateral action at this complex and challenging juncture. We stand ready to intensify our collective work, also in our capacity as Chair of the Group of Friends of Food Security and Nutrition, here in New York”, said Massari. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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