NEW DELHI/ NEW YORK: As prices of essential commodities soar as a consequence of global instability and Global Hunger Index presents a terrible scenario, V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs affirmed India’s commitment to food security at the domestic and global level on Wednesday.
Muraleedharan was speaking at the Ministerial Meeting on “Global Food Security Call to Action,” chaired by US Secretary of State Antony John Blinken.
Muraleedharan, said, “India remains strongly committed to the cause of global food security and also has contributed to UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the UNOCHA in response to various humanitarian crises over the years. Our spearheading of the UN General Assembly Resolution for declaring the Year 2023 as the International Year of Millets was aimed at addressing similar such food security challenges.”
“Indian government has recognized the sudden spike in global prices of wheat which put our food security and those of our neighbours and other vulnerable countries at risk. We are committed to ensuring that such adverse impact on food security is effectively mitigated and the vulnerable cushion. against sudden changes in the global market. In order to manage our overall food security and support the needs of neighbouring and other vulnerable developing countries, we have announced some measures regarding wheat exports on 13 May 2022,” Muraleedharan remarked.
He mentioned India’s humanitarian food grain assistance to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
The 2022 Global Report on Food Crisis has reported that 139 million people across the world had the bitter taste of conflict-induced acute food insecurity, which has grown by 30 per cent, MoS Muraleedharan said. COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflicts, including in Ukraine, have impacted the household globally and disrupted the global logistical supply chains, the Visiting EAM MOS said in New York.
“It is necessary for all of us to adequately appreciate the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains. We have already seen to our great cost how these principles were disregarded in the case of Covid-19 vaccines. Open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity and promote discrimination,” Muraleedharan added.
MoS also appreciated UN Security-General António Guterres’ initiative of establishing a Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG) on Food, Energy and Finance for exempting purchases of food by WFP for humanitarian assistance from food export restrictions with immediate effect.
Muraleedharan is leading a delegation from India for the first International Migration Review Forum, being held under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly in New York from 17 May to 20 May 2022.