Zufan is 27 years old. She lives in Makale, the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, where hundreds of thousands of people face starvation. Zufan has a master’s degree in management and until recently had a well-paid job and was considering a doctorate. Today, she is forced to sell her body to survive a famine that has already claimed the life of one of her relatives. “I saw my father starve to death”explains Zufan in a recent interview with Guardian.
The world is in the grip of a terrible food crisis. In Tigray, almost one in three children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. According to the latest report from the World Food Program (WFP), a record 970,000 people are facing catastrophic levels of hunger, ten times more than five years ago.
Civil wars and years of poor rainfall have played a role in limiting food supplies in Africa. But another important factor is Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. This invasion has disrupted our vast agricultural industry and poses a direct threat to global food security.
Ukraine, known as Europe’s breadbasket, has a significant share of the world market for several vital foodstuffs, including maize (16.2%), wheat (11.6%), barley (17.6%) and sunflower oil (50%) – according to the latest US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report before the war.
By destroying traditional supply chains, Russia has brought at least 70 million people around the world closer to starvation.
Ethiopia, which is in the grip of a civil war, is far from the only country in crisis. In Yemen, Hafsa Ahmed is also starving. This 2-year-old child is the youngest of a family of six children. Mohammed Hussein is the father of two children aged 1 and 3 who are starving. “There is no money and I am unemployedhe told the Voice of America. They could starve to death. »
Starved by the Soviet Union
The Yemenis were particularly affected by the invasion of Russia. Wheat is a very important part of their diet and about 40% of their grain was imported from Ukraine until Russia blockaded our ports.
In Yemen, more than half a million children are severely malnourished, and about 2.2 million Yemeni children are hungry. According to the UN, 1.3 million pregnant or lactating women will also suffer from severe malnutrition this year.
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