Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (EFE).- The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced this Friday the launch of a shock plan against the food emergency of 14.4 million euros that will go to the purchase and transfer grain from Ukraine for developing countries and to fight famines in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.
In an institutional statement after visiting the facilities of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Sánchez has detailed that 4.4 million euros will be used to finance the purchase of Ukrainian cereals, 3.5 million for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia) and 6.5 million for Sahel countries (Mali, Niger and Mauritania).
In this way, the President of the Government has promised to address these “global challenges” and has warned that there are 800 million people in the world who suffer from hunger, that is, one in ten inhabitants of the planet, and that they are also 200 million more than before the pandemic in 2019.
“They are mainly boys and girls under the age of five, something that happens while the world throws out 1,300 million tons of food suitable for consumption every year,” lamented Sánchez, who made reference to political instability, drought, the climate crisis and the cut in food production, which together with conflicts such as the one in Ukraine, “exacerbate the crisis”.
He has also pointed out that the invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a “triple crisis” that affects fertilizers, hydrocarbons and food and is especially suffered by regions very close to the Canary Islands and Spain that face hunger “every day”.
Sánchez has considered that fighting hunger “is a moral obligation” and also a “mandate of reason” because “no disaster is foreign to us in a globalized world” and has promised to act moved by humanity and intelligence, since In his opinion, that also protects the citizens of Spain.
Spain’s contribution to the World Food Program has tripled, going from four to 13 million in recent years, said Sánchez, who said that this effort is in line with the previously announced commitment to allocate 236 million euros to alleviate food insecurity in the next three years.
«Spain is going to be up to the emergency. We believe in the multilateralism of the UN and Spanish society demands it of us, which is in solidarity with the countries that are suffering intensely from this crisis and it is the most decent thing that a government can do”, added the president.
For his part, the WFP spokesman, Rasmus Egendal, appreciated the joint effort of the administrations and this United Nations agency, which, in his opinion, has become “a critical element in providing assistance in a world in which the combined impact of climate change, covid, conflicts and the economic slowdown is increasing.
Likewise, the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has indicated that the islands occupy a strategic place on the planet due to their “tricontinental” character, 80 kilometers from Africa and its connections with America. EFE