Media Library

News Releases

Statement by President Higgins on UN-brokered deal on grain to aid food security

Date: Fri 22nd Jul, 2022 | 18:06

“The signing of the UN-brokered agrement today in Istanbul to facilitate the safe shipping of grain from Ukraine's ports is to be welcomed. This UN-brokered deal could allow the export of millions of tonnes of grain to the Horn of Africa, which is so heavily dependent on grain from Ukraine and Russia will be so warmly welcomed by those not only in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, but by all global citizens who do not want to see the current invasion triggering what will inevitably result in famine, starvation and malnutrition. 

Recent initiatives such as that of Germany, United For Global Food Security, deserve all our support and it is so important that the major appeal launched by the UN draw an adequate response.

Indeed at a time when untied Development Aid is being cut by so many donors it is notable that it is smaller countries that have been giving a lead in response to the tragically, very poorly supported, $4.4 billion needed now.  For example, Ireland is the seventh largest contributor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

It is time for those with the greatest capacity to follow the lead of smaller countries. It is after all such countries who have produced the greatest amount of emissions that has resulted in the desertification of the lands of countries who have been least responsible for the burning of our planet.  The collective carbon emissions of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, for example, who represent 2.5 percent of the world’s population, is 0.1 percent of the global total.

Today provides a glimmer of hope, not only on these crucial issues of food security, but on the vital role of the United Nations and its taking of initiatives, and it is to be welcomed.”