War over Ukraine Starves People around the World

Image credit: Olia Gozha via Flickr (representative image)

Earlier this month, Russia pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal. This agreement was negotiated between Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine in 2022 to ensure that Ukraine, one of the world’s largest suppliers of grain, would still be able to export this essential food source to the rest of the world even after Russia’s invasion. The ending of this agreement means that Ukrainian grain shipments will no longer have guaranteed safe passage through the Black Sea. As a matter of fact, Russia has said they will treat any ship leaving a Ukrainian port as a legitimate military target. This action will have a horrendous impact on global food supplies, but the imperialist rivals of NATO and Russia fighting over control of Ukraine couldn’t care less about the lives of the world’s people.

Under the grain deal, Ukraine was able to export 57% of its food products to developing countries and 43% to developed countries. Countries in the European Union received 80% of their grain from Ukraine in the last year. Ukraine was also able to supply 725,000 tons of grain to the World Food Program, which helps to supply food to Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and other areas of the world that have many people suffering from hunger due to heat, drought, or other environmental impacts that were caused by global climate change. Without access to safely transport grain out of the Black Sea, many areas of the world will be even worse off than they already are in terms of access to reliable food sources.

Wars among big capitalist powers kill not only soldiers and civilians in combat zones. They also kill people all around the world who have nothing to do with and nothing to gain from these rivalries among the wealthy and powerful.