Ukraine aggression endangers Med security, Italian FM

Food insecurity fuels social tensions, migration flows

23 June, 15:25

    Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio addresses Co-Opera 2022 in Rome Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio addresses Co-Opera 2022 in Rome

    ROME - Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday said the "Russian aggression against Ukraine is causing scarcity and price increases of energy resources, cereals and fertilizers". "These tensions on the markets further endanger the security of an area which, from Libya to Lebanon, is already crossed by several factors of instability, increasing food insecurity, with a potential negative impact also in terms of social tensions and migration flows", Di Maio said, addressing Co-Opera 2022 in Rome. He stressed that "the fight against food security is a priority objective of Italian cooperation".

    "The importance of these themes is today even more significant in light of the serious economic repercussions of the conflict in Ukraine, especially in Mediterranean countries", the foreign minister highlighted. "Already last year, as presidents of the G20, we understood with concern the connection between the pandemic and the risk of a food crisis in developing countries" and "in response to the current crisis, we summoned on June 8 at the Farnesina (foreign ministry) a Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on food security, with the objective of finding solutions to mitigate the effects of war in North Africa and the Mediterranean and, in the longer term, to make food systems of the area more sustainable and resilient", recalled the minister.

    "In a wider perspective, the growing commitment of the Italian cooperation system for food security is clear in data regarding the three years 2018-20, which saw funding go from some 78 million euros in 2018 to 93 million in 2020", he stressed. "We are convinced that building peace, promoting inclusive societies that respect human rights, also requires strengthening food security. Local conflicts and between countries, social tensions and migrations are closely connected to food insecurity, as is the case of Sahel and the Horn of Africa. Obtaining the objective Zero Hunger is, in this sense, also instrumental to reaching the other Objectives of Sustainable Development", added Di Maio.

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