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Sisi calls for ‘international solution’ to grain crisis

June 18, 2022 at 2:04 pm

Farmers harvest wheat in Egypt on 14 May 2022 [Mohamed Abdel Hamid/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Friday called to reach an “international solution” to the global grain crisis.

This came in a video speech in which Al-Sisi addressed the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, the 25th session that began on Wednesday. Egypt is considered a “guest country” in the forum.

Al-Sisi expressed: “Egypt appreciates its historical friendship with Russia.”

He added: “This year’s forum is being held under unprecedented political and economic conditions and challenges, and we hope that the forum’s outputs will contribute to finding effective solutions to mitigate the global economic crisis and its negative repercussions.”

Al-Sisi stressed that addressing this crisis requires an international effort and cooperation from all parties: “To restore normalcy, especially maritime traffic and the regularity of supply chains, especially foodstuffs, such as grains and vegetable oils.”

He also asserted: “There is a need to work to restore international stability and calm to mitigate the effects of this economic crisis on people seeking peace and development,” in an indirect reference to the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war that erupted in February.

READ: Egypt’s private sector wheat imports surge as state buyer tightens purchases

Egypt is one of the largest consumers of wheat around the world, with an average of 23 million tonnes annually, of which nine million tonnes are local production, and the rest is imported.

It is worth noting that many countries of the world suffer from a grain crisis due to the inability of cargo ships to leave Ukrainian ports due to the war that has been ongoing since 24 February.

In 2021, crops from Russia and Ukraine accounted for about 28 per cent of the world’s wheat exports.

On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced in a press conference in Cairo that Europe will immediately support Egypt with $100 million and provide €3 billion to the region in the coming years to counter the damage to food supplies.