Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Top diplomats urge action as global food crisis deepens

Top diplomats urged swift global action on Friday in the face of a mounting food crisis, as the war in Ukraine worsens conditions that have pushed millions of people into hunger. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock hosted officials including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio in the German capital for a summit aimed at finding ways to blunt the impacts of the situation, which the United Nations says has now made tens of millions people acutely food insecure. “Russia is waging a cynical grain war, using it as a tool to make food prices [skyrocket] and destabilize entire countries,” Baerbock said in remarks alongside Blinken before opening the summit. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/06/24/food-security-ukraine/) Blinken, speaking to reporters after the meeting, cautioned that the suffering due to the war and the food crisis was likely to persist for some time but said the stakes of ensuring that Russia could not absorb its neighbor were high. Officials have described a slow-building confluence of climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and a spate of global conflicts including, now, the war in Ukraine — a major grain exporter whose crops are a key source of sustenance for countries including Egypt and Lebanon.

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