The head of the United Nations World Food Programme, David Beasley, has warned that the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine will cause shockwaves in Africa and the Middle East and spark a mass migration crisis unless Western leaders step up to prepare for food and resource shortages.
The crisis between both countries has caused a significant impact on the availability of wheat, fertilizer, and other key agricultural resources due to the fact that together, they contribute roughly 25% of global wheat exports. The disruption of those exports is driving up food costs worldwide.
Speaking to Politico, Beasley said, “We’re billions short. Failure to provide this year a few extra billion dollars means you’re going to have famine, destabilization, and mass migration.
If you think we’ve got hell on earth now, you just get ready. If we neglect northern Africa, northern Africa’s coming to Europe. If we neglect the Middle East, the Middle East is coming to Europe.”
The WFP is already feeding millions of people further south in Sahel countries like Niger and Burkina Faso, where problems will worsen if global food prices stay sky-high.
“I’ve been warning our developed nations for several years now that the Sahel is going to collapse if we’re not careful. What do you think is going to happen in Paris and Chicago and Brussels when there’s not enough food? It’s easy to sit on your high horse in your ivory tower when you’re not the one starving,” he added.