G20 leaders gather in Delhi.
“Global leaders must make it clear Putin’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative has increased Russia’s global isolation and protect those whose lives have been devastated by Putin’s illegal war,” Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will say as he travels to the G20 Summit in India today (Sept 8th).
Tomorrow, (Sept 9th), G20 leaders will gather in Delhi to discuss the biggest challenges the world is facing, including the spike in the cost of living driven by Putin’s actions. For the second year in a row, the Russian President is not expected to attend.
At the summit, the Prime Minister will stress the importance of those who do choose to attend demonstrating their leadership, both in helping the world’s most vulnerable people to deal with the terrible consequences of Putin’s war and in addressing wider challenges like climate change and the stability of the global economy.
“Once again, Vladimir Putin is failing to show his face at the G20. He is the architect of his own diplomatic exile, isolating himself in his presidential palace and blocking out criticism and reality.
“The rest of the G20, meanwhile, are demonstrating that we will turn up and work together to pick up the pieces of Putin’s destruction.
“That starts with dealing with the terrible global consequences of Putin’s stranglehold over the most fundamental resources, including his blockade of and attacks on Ukrainian grain,” – Rishi Sunak.
Before Putin’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine was the world’s 5th largest wheat exporter, 4th largest corn exporter and 3rd largest rapeseed exporter. Grain ordinarily accounts for 41% of Ukrainian export revenue, and almost two thirds of the grain exported by the country goes to the developing world.
Russia’s sudden withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, and the consequent spike in global food prices, will cost lives around the world – further destabilising economies and putting people at risk of starvation.
The UK is spearheading efforts to help vulnerable people and economies deal with the impact of Putin’s actions. The Prime Minister will announce today that the UK will convene an international food security summit in November.
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the event will bring together government representatives from across the world, including vulnerable countries, with international organisations, NGOs, researchers and private sector companies, to tackle the causes of food insecurity and malnutrition.
Meanwhile, Royal Air Force aircraft are conducting flights over the area to deter Russia from carrying out illegal strikes against civilian vessels transporting grain.
Alongside military efforts to deter Russian attacks, the UK will also contribute £3 million in funding for the World Food Programme to continue work started under President Zelenskyy’s ‘Grain from Ukraine’ initiative, which was established in November last year to send Ukrainian grain to countries whose people are suffering from the high global price of staple foods.
In its first six months, the Grain from Ukraine programme allowed 170,000 tonnes of Ukrainian grain to be delivered to countries including Somalia and Yemen. The uplift in UK funding announced today will enable further grain shipments to go to countries in need as identified by the World Food Programme. Ukraine has been a hugely important source of food for the World Food Programme this year. This year- up until July when Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative- WFP procured 80% of its global wheat grain from Ukraine.