The recently brokered food corridor to allow the shipment of grains from Ukraine to the rest of the world to ease the global hunger crisis was hailed by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as a pivotal agreement who went on to proclaim that the agreement is one of the most important achievements of his stewardship as the United Nation’s Secretary General.
I beg to disagree with the honourable U.N sectary general because as the shipment was starting to move, missiles were still flying into many parts of Ukraine killing thousands and destroying cities and villages leaving most of western Ukraine with no water or electricity. Most of the people there will sit back and be killed by Russian missiles and with winter approaching, life in many parts of Ukraine is going to be like hell. Though we all know how important food is to the rest of the world and the effort the world is making to ease global hunger but food without water; food without electricity and food without security is akin to a condemned prisoner’s last meal.
The rest of Ukraine is in rubble and with Russia occupying a good part of Ukraine, intelligence is telling us that Russia may not stop with Ukraine.
With the love, Putin shares with Donald Trump, both of them may be preparing the grounds if Trump becomes president again to bring back the old Soviet Union under Russian control and as such, we might be looking at a new map of Europe without NATO and without European Union that is known today. Some of us have not forgotten that Putin played some part in the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America. It is therefore possible that both of them may have agreed to make NATO obsolete and start the process of dismantling Europe.
So let’s look at the scenario that Putin is not able to take Ukraine completely because of the support from Europe and some NATO countries and also Trump doesn’t become President in 2024, then the fear shared by many of us is that Putin may fall back to his nuclear arsenal and if that happens, the world may once again be experiencing another World War but fought with nuclear missiles and bombs.
With over seven nations plus Israel and maybe North Korea and Iran, there will be nothing left of the beautiful planet as we know it because the radio-active fallout from such wars will render a good part of the world unlivable even with its unborn children. We know what happened during the Japan and American exponent.
According to the World War archives in Utah State University Libraries, during World War II, starvation was common on the home front in Japan. The Japanese government created the food rationing system in 1940, but it was not until 1941 that certain foods like rice, meat, fish, soy, salt, and oil became strictly rationed. By the end of the war, the U.S. Strategic bombing survey reported that one hundred per cent of urban residents experienced weight loss with the average caloric consumption being 1,405 calories in Tokyo in 1945 and 1,354 calories in Nagoya in 1944. Japanese youth responded to hunger in various ways. Some combatted starvation by foraging. Some Japanese youth turned to thievery. Stolen goods were generally food, straw, money, and clothing. Thievery in Japan became more common as the war continued and food became scarcer.
Starvation was so severe that some youths were desperate enough to volunteer as experimentation subjects in exchange for food and a healthier diet.
U.S. incendiary bombing had a direct effect on Japanese food security, further exacerbating the situation. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese lost their homes to bombs and would relocate to other cities or the countryside where other family members resided.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary speaking in a video message addressing leading lawmakers from some of the world’s richest countries who had gathered in Berlin for a conference on food security ahead of the G7 summit in the southern German state of Bavaria had commented that, “There is a real risk that multiple famines will be declared in 2022,” Guterres said, adding that “2023 could be even worse.”
According to UN estimates, millions of people across some 34 countries are on the brink of famine. He also said that the UN was working on a plan to allow Ukraine to export its huge grain stocks to the global market, including via its Black Sea ports which have so far been under blockade from Russian ships.
“It is time for massive and generous support so that developing countries can purchase the food from this and other ports — and people can buy it,” Guterres said on a visit to Ukraine’s port city of Odesa, where grain exports are flowing after a nearly six-month Russian blockade.
Between them, Russia and Ukraine export a quarter of the world’s wheat and 15% of corn and, without Ukraine’s contribution, many parts of the world are facing severe food shortages after prices skyrocketed, he had opined.
According to the UN, the Secretary-General has been underlining the importance of facilitating full access to world markets for Ukraine’s food stocks and Russian food and fertilizers. He had travelled to Moscow and Kyiv in April to propose a plan to reach that objective.
Ukraine and the Russian Federation are breadbaskets of the world, producing almost one-third of the world’s wheat and barley and half of its sunflower oil. Russia is also a top global exporter of fertilizers and raw materials for its production.
They had gathered in Istanbul, senior representatives from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and Turkey gathered to sign an agreement which establishes a mechanism for the safe transportation of grain, related foodstuffs and fertilizer from Ukrainian ports to global markets.
The United Nations, represented by the Secretary-General, signed the Agreement as a witness. The purpose of the Agreement was to contribute to the prevention of global hunger, reduce and address global food insecurity, and ensure the safety and security of merchant ships entering or departing Ukrainian ports.
Going by what happened during this civil war and its effects on civilians especially children and young persons, one would have imagined that the main point of action should be different from what is being deliberated. Nuclear bombing and wars were dropped on Japan during the world war. During this period, only a few countries had nuclear missiles. If they should be any World War fought nuclear, it would finish the world in the glimpse of an eye because of the radioactive torch but instead, they are negotiating for food instead of negotiating for a cease-fire.
It was nice for the United Nations Secretary to have brokered the deal but one would have expected to start with a cease-fire between the warring nations because, with a cease-fire, negotiations can start otherwise the food corridor will be left with no food that is if it gets to us before we die.