Russia’s decision to pull out of Black Sea grain deal will further ‘exacerbate’ harsh situations

  • Date: 18/07/2023
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward
Russian Black Sea Grain Deal

ActionAid Ireland has described as “alarming” the decision by Russia to pull out of the Black Sea grain deal, saying millions of people already facing hunger will pay the price for the move.

About the Black Sea grain deal

The deal was designed to alleviate a food crisis sparked by a Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports that had frozen millions of tonnes of grain exports around the world, to some of the world’s poorest communities.

ActionAid Ireland CEO, Karol Balfe, said: “It is alarming to see Russia pull out of the Black Sea grain deal. Global food prices have been declining in the last months, including the cost of cereal, thanks to this initiative. Without it, it’s likely we will see prices rise again further exacerbating the harsh situations faced by many vulnerable countries already facing acute hunger.”

She added: “If prices go up again, with the current dollar depreciation, the food import bills for countries already suffering will become even more unaffordable, leading to many more people experiencing famine.”

Food and fuel research

Ms Balfe said recent research by ActionAid found that some of the poorest communities have been severely impacted by food prices, often paying up to 10 times what they spent before the start of the Ukraine war. The research finds that as the world faces an unprecedented cost of living crisis, local communities in the Global South are dealing with the consequences of severe price rises in food, fuel, and fertilizer, with tragic human impacts.

The research found that women and girls are hardest hit, with food intake, education, their right to live free from child marriage, and their mental health and wellbeing being affected. 

(The report can be accessed here: ActionAid’s latest report can be accessed here: The Human Costs of the Food Crisis: How Price Spikes are Wreaking Havoc Across the Globe.)

Ms Balfe added: “We need to see countries rebuilding their capacity to produce the food they require to break their dependence from the global market that is so volatile and vulnerable to shocks.” 

Martha Isaac, (pictured above) a farmer and mother from Otutuoma, Nigeria said: “There is hike in the price of fuel, everything is changing, bread is expensive. Life is difficult in Nigeria; you go to market and you are not able to buy substantial things because everything is expensive. 

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