World to face unprecedented hunger crisis: Expert

276 million live on breadline; figure may increase by 47 million, says head of millers group.

World to face unprecedented hunger crisis: Expert

The head of the International Association of Operative Millers Eurasia said Friday all institutions, including the UN, FAO, WTO and IMF, agreed that the world will face an unprecedented hunger crisis

Eren Gunhan Ulusoy cited international reports showing 811 million people are undernourished and 276 million live on the breadline while speaking at the group’s international conference in Istanbul.

"Every piece of wheat is valuable, we must take steps to reduce hunger by reducing waste and preventing losses," he said.

The four-day event that started Thursday with an exhibition, will focus on several topics, including global grain production, trade issues and millers' operations.

Millers must make an effort to protect each gram of raw material, he said.

If the disruption in the supply chain caused by Ukraine is not resolved, 47 million more people will face the breadline threat, he said.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which is one of the world’s major wheat exporters, Ukraine suspended wheat exports.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the world's wheat stocks will fall by 12 million tons, he said.

He said Ukraine raised its wheat stock from 1 million to 6 million tons this year and stressed that India was willing to meet the wheat deficit but after unexpected temperature increases, that country has currently banned wheat exports.

Touching on the coronavirus pandemic, war and climate issues, he said the world is in an unprecedented era when historical high levels were seen in food prices.

No supply problem in Turkiye

Ahmet Guldal, the head of the Turkish Grain Board, said despite increasing world prices, there was no supply problem in Turkiye.

He said the country is currently entering a harvest season, which is much better than in previous years and stressed that there are droughts in some countries and high production in others.

If countries act sensible, the world will overcome the crisis as it did in the past, he added.