India With Huge Wheat Stockpile, Invited by US to Food Crisis Meeting on May 18
BY ARUL LOUIS
NEW YORK, NY – India has been invited to a ministerial meeting on global food security convened by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to respond to the global crisis sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, said Cindy McCain, Washington’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
The meeting with the Foreign Ministers on May 18 will “review the urgent humanitarian needs and identify steps to build resilience for the future”, she told reporters on May 10.
Because the world is facing the most serious food crisis in over 70 years, the worst since World War II”, the US has called for two ‘Days of Action’ on the food crisis.
The ministerial meeting will be followed by a Security Council debate on “Conflict and Food Security” the following day.
McCain said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, the fifth-largest exporter of wheat and the second-largest exporter of sunflower oil, has triggered a far-reaching humanitarian crisis for countries that were already vulnerable.
It will have long-term effects because “Putin has upended spring planting, blocked ports, mined fields, destroyed infrastructure, and ultimately thrown our global food systems into chaos”, she said.
Leaders of India, which has a wheat stockpile estimated at about 100 million tons, and the US last month discussed cooperation on averting a food crisis.
Making some of this wheat available to the rest of the world came up at the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden, as well as in the 2+2 ministerial meeting of India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Blinken.