EU and French officials met with representatives from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) today to discuss how to mitigate the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine on global food security. French officials discussed the FARM program, which seeks to work with international partners on food security by making food systems in developing countries more resilient and easing the tension on worldwide food markets. The food security programs seek to help offset the damage that the war is doing to the “world’s breadbasket.”
“It is extremely valuable to see France and the European Union taking the lead with this FARM initiative, recognizing that if we don’t deal with this immediately, how do we offset the diminished returns of harvest inside Ukraine?” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said. “How do we offset this lack of food, cereals and grains that will or will not be produced inside Ukraine? Because we have to act now.”
The WFP was already experiencing difficulties in terms of acquiring food and cost of operations before the Russian invasion.
These efforts come as both the WFP and the EU increase their efforts to help those specifically impacted by the Russian war in Ukraine. At the end of March the WFP announced its ambitions to provide 40,000 tons of food to the 7 million displaced people within Ukraine. They’ve worked in the last several weeks to distribute food to families in Kharkiv and other cities around the war-torn country.
The EU has made more general efforts to help Ukrainian citizens, like welcoming around 4 million Ukrainian refugees into EU countries, sending military assistance to Ukrainian forces and implementing increasingly harsh sanctions against Russia.