Russia’s blockade of Ukraine will exacerbate hunger, starvation and instability around the world if it cannot be lifted, the World Food Program said.

The warning came when Sky News gained rare access to the port of Odessa on the Ukrainian Black Sea coast.

The port is supposed to be busy exporting tens of thousands of tons of grain, but its huge elevators just don’t work.

Sky showed a huge grain truck loaded with 60,000 tons.

He was supposed to sail to Egypt in February, but remains moored thanks Russian naval blockade.

Opposite the ship are 30 huge silos full of grain.

A quarter of a million tons sit there for months without being able to get it out to sea.

Matthew Hollingworth is the coordinator of the World Food Emergency Program for Ukraine.

He says that if something does not have an impact, it will be devastating worldwide.

Russia predicts “public discontent” after reports of deaths – live news about the war in Ukraine

“Undoubtedly, this will mean that starvation will worsen in the world. Hunger will be even worse.

“And we are in a situation where the world economy is only partially improving from COVID-19, and that situation could throw many countries to the brink.”

Call Ukraine the breadbasket of the world.

Thirty huge silos were left full of grain, without any means to get it out to sea

Its rich chernozem is one of the best soils in the world. Its fertility allows Ukraine to export 70% of the crop. Its harvest last year fed an extraordinary 400 million people.

Dutch farmer Kees Huizinga came here 20 years ago to Odessa for a farm.

His farm is huge by British standards, covering more than 37,000 hectares.

He managed to take part of last year’s harvest by land by truck, but this is a six-day wait at the border and will carry only a fraction of his grain.

According to him, if the naval blockade is not lifted, it will be catastrophic for those who depend on it and millions of people around the world.

He said: “For us, for the company, it means bankruptcy and 400 employees without work, and I without work, and for the whole world it means a huge gap in global food supplies.

“I mean, more than 70% of the Ukrainian harvest is for export, and people who really need it in poor countries will not get it, so they will die.”

Kees Huizinga
Keys Huizinga was able to move only a fraction of his grain

Even if the EU opened its land borders to Ukrainian grain, no more than two million tons a month could be exported.

Five to seven million tons need to be obtained.

Ukraine says it needs NATO to take measures to escort cargo ships through the blockade or obtain weapons so that it can attack the Russian navy instead.

This would threaten a confrontation between NATO and Russia.

Cereal field
Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of the world

But the alternative could be global instability, civil unrest elsewhere, perhaps revolution and war.

Western governments are struggling with the problem, but in three months they have not found a solution and time is running out.

The next harvest of Ukraine – in a month or two. If Ukrainian farmers are unable to sell their crops by then, they will go bankrupt and will not be able to buy seeds or fertilizers.

Then the world granary will see that its agricultural sector will benefit with potentially catastrophic consequences for hundreds of millions.

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