According to US Deputy Ambassador Richard M. Mills, the conflict in Ukraine could result in severe food shortages in the occupied Palestinian Territories.
The invasion of Russia has sparked fears of worldwide food shortages, as Ukraine is one of the world’s largest wheat exporters.
The United States has finally acknowledged that the expected food shortages may have an impact on Palestinians.
“Food insecurity could increase much worse in the coming weeks, both in Gaza and the West Bank, as prices of food, petrol, and other commodities rise,” he added, citing President Putin’s aggressive attack against Ukraine.
Mills’ remarks were mirrored by Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, who informed the UN Security Council that “increasing prices and market disruptions… endanger food security levels of vulnerable [Palestinian] families.”
According to Wennesland, the UN’s quarterly circulation expenses for the beleaguered Gaza Strip, where the UN is responsible for about 60% of food distribution, have increased by 42 percent.
Mills’ remarks come as a number of rights groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warned of possible food shortages and a rise in the price of commodities such as bread in the West Bank and Gaza.
Oxfam warned earlier this month that wheat supplies in the West Bank and Gaza could run out “within three weeks.”
“Rising global food prices have hit Palestinian households hard, and many are struggling to fulfill their basic requirements,” said Shane Stevenson, Oxfam’s Country Director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, in a press release on April 11.
“The food crisis is being exacerbated by the reliance on imports and the limits imposed on them by Israel’s ongoing military occupation, settlement violence, and land grabs.”
Ukraine and Russia are two of the world’s leading wheat growers and exporters. Food supplies have been affected around the world as a result of Moscow’s invasion, and prices have risen.
Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon are among the countries in the region scrambling to find other grain sources to feed their populations.
in a phone call, earlier this month on 18th April abbas and Putin discussed food security among other topics
“Putin emphasized that Russia will meet all of the needs of Palestinian and other Middle Eastern importers of Russian wheat, materials, and commodities,” according to a Palestinian news site.
For basics like wheat and sunflower oil, Middle Eastern countries rely largely on Russian and Ukrainian shipments. Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, food costs have risen dramatically across the region.
Israel-Russia relations have deteriorated since Moscow’s invasion, with Tel Aviv openly condemning the action and promising support for Ukraine.