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WTO, IMF and World Bank call for trade restrictions to be lifted


Global trade restrictions raise prices and exacerbate food crisis, organizations say

Removing trade restrictions would ease the global food crisis by minimizing supply disruptions and lowering prices, the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a statement on Friday. joint.

Facilitating trade and improving the functioning and resilience of global food and agriculture markets…are essential,” they said.

The 2008 crisis taught us that the imposition of global trade restrictions directly leads to higher food prices. Removing export restrictions and adopting more flexible inspection and licensing processes helps to minimize supply disruptions and lower prices.

The joint statement was posted on the World Bank’s website and was authored by its President, David Malpass, together with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, WTO Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley. .

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WTO warns of ‘polycrisis’

They noted that the Covid-19 pandemic, disruptions to international supply chains and fallout from the Russian military operation in Ukraine have severely disrupted food, fuel and fertilizer markets. Some 345 million people in 82 countries are currently at risk of food insecurity, according to the WFP. The situation has been exacerbated by the fact that around 25 countries have food export restrictions affecting more than 8% of global food trade, and fertilizer prices have doubled over the past year.

Apart from lifting trade restrictions, officials said the food crisis could also be alleviated by providing immediate support to the most vulnerable countries by facilitating the purchase of food for humanitarian purposes. Increasing production and investing in climate-resilient agriculture are also seen as necessary measures, they said.

The authors of the statement also stressed the need to find a diplomatic solution for the supply of grain and fertilizers to Ukraine, which are currently blocked due to the conflict in the country. President Volodymyr Zelensky said in early June that up to 25 million tons of agricultural products were blocked due to the crisis.

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EU says Russian food and fertilizers exempt from sanctions

kyiv and its Western allies have accused Russia of blocking these products from leaving the country, but Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations. He claims that Ukrainian troops have mined the ports where ships carrying agricultural products are stationed, preventing them from leaving. This week, delegations from Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the UN met in Istanbul on the situation. Details of the talks have not yet been disclosed, but, according to the WSJ, the ships are scheduled to be released from three ports with a Ukrainian fleet escort. A ceasefire will be declared to allow ships to leave, and Turkey will control empty ships arriving to collect grain.

Russia insists that Western sanctions linked to Ukraine have led to a worsening food crisis and problems with the supply of mineral fertilizers. Although these products have not been formally sanctioned, some business owners who manufacture them have been subject to restrictions, which “makes it difficult to conclude contracts and complicates financial transactions,according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He recently said that the country could increase the supply of agricultural products and fertilizers on the world market in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

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