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US Providing Ukraine With Additional $800M In Security Assistance: Biden

The Russian war in Ukraine has resulted in disruptions in food, energy and finance, affecting 1.7 million people worldwide, the head of the UN said Wednesday.

Antonio Guterres said the effects of the war are global and systemic.

“As many as 1.7 billion people — one-third of whom are already living in poverty — are now highly exposed to disruptions in food, energy and finance systems that are triggering increases in poverty and hunger,” Guterres said at a news conference.

He said 36 countries count on Russia and Ukraine for more than half of their wheat imports, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable nations.

Prices were already on the rise but the war has made a bad situation far worse, he said, citing wheat and maize prices which rose 30% since the start of the war.

In addition, as Russia is a top energy supplier, the prices of oil, natural gas and fertilizer also went high.

“Oil prices are up more than 60% over the past year, accelerating the prevailing trends. The same goes for natural gas prices, which have risen by 50% in recent months,” said Guterres. “As prices climb, so does hunger and malnutrition, especially for young children.”

The UN chief said the war should end immediately and negotiations should be accelerated toward peace.

“The people of Ukraine cannot bear the violence being inflicted on them. And the most vulnerable people around the globe cannot become collateral damage in yet another disaster for which they bear no responsibility,” he added.