Famine Game: Ukraine launches campaign to draw world attention to the global food crisis deliberately caused by Russia

Russia is playing famine games with the world, purposefully imposing its rules with disastrous effects. Ukraine’s goal is to explain to foreign audiences the devastating impact of Russia’s war on global food security and how the rules of this game can be changed. The campaign starts with the launch of an online platform as a part of the official website of Ukraine about the war — war.ukraine.ua.

“By blocking Ukrainian seaports since February, Russia has denied millions of people worldwide access to Ukrainian food exports, thus putting them at risk of hunger. Simultaneously, Russian propaganda has launched a cynical campaign of lies to block these people’s access to facts and shift the blame for Russia’s famine game to Ukraine and the West. We are gradually unblocking the Ukrainian food exports, but also breaking through the information blockade with a new communication campaign and a special online platform”, stated Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The reduction of food exports from Ukraine due to Russia’s full-scale invasion was a severe blow to the sustainability of the global food system, which has suffered significant damage and has not yet recovered from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia’s destruction of Ukraine’s agricultural infrastructure and logistics is purposeful and systematic: from missile strikes on silos to blocking seaports, and stealing grain and agricultural machinery. This has led to a sharp reduction in the volume of supply on the world food market and a rapid rise in prices of the main crops. Due to the war in Ukraine, the UN World Food Programme lost about 50% of its key supplies. According to the estimates of Integrated Food Security Phase Classification experts, this year, 25% more people worldwide are experiencing acute food shortages compared to 2021.

Russia is trying to use all of these criminal levers to raise the stakes in its war against Ukraine and to pressure the international community to loosen sanctions and reconfigure the global security system.

Therefore, one of the key tasks facing Ukraine as a guarantor of world food security is to provide access to reliable information about the real causes of the aggravated global food crisis and to prevent Russia’s attempts to weaponise food and manipulate people’s lives around the world.

The special section on war.ukraine.ua/food-security  answers the most pressing questions from foreigners about Ukraine in the context of global food security:

●  How many people in the world could be fed with food exports from Ukraine before the full-scale invasion?

●  How many people worldwide are at risk of starvation or a significant food shortage due to Russia’s war against Ukraine?

●  Why are sea routes for food exports from Ukraine so important?

●  How is Russia turning food into a weapon, as it has already done with energy supplies?

●  How can you help Ukraine by spreading the truth about the causes of the deepening food crisis in the world?

Infographics, poster designs, and stories of Ukrainian farmers who, despite threats to their lives from Russian missiles, continue their work to feed the world, are available for free distribution on the website.

The section is available in English and is intended for a wide foreign audience — media and bloggers, diplomats, experts, and public activists.

Background information:

A large team of Ukrainian diplomats and national experts in agriculture, food security, and international communications worked on developing this platform. The BRAND UKRAINE organisation implemented the project in close cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine with the financial support of the European Union.

For additional information, please contact:

• Marina Dadinova, Strategic communications Team Lead, BRAND UKRAINE organisation ([email protected])

• Press-service of the MFA of Ukraine ([email protected])