President Joe Biden admitted Thursday at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium that food shortages would come to certain parts of the world as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“With regard to food shortage, yes we did talk about food shortages, and it’s gonna be real,” Biden said.
“The price of the sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia,” he added. “It’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
Breadbasket of Europe
Biden pointed out that Russia and Ukraine are the “breadbasket of Europe;” they provide around 1/3 of the world’s exports of wheat.
According to Biden, the G7 leaders discussed ways to increase food production in other areas, including the U.S. and Canada.
There was a “long discussion in the G7” about the need to “increase and disseminate” food production, Biden said.
“In addition to that, we talked about urging all the European countries, and everyone else, to end trade … limitations on sending food abroad,” Biden said. “And, so, we are in the process of working out with our European friends what it would take to help alleviate the concerns relative to the food shortages.”
US shortage not expected, Psaki says
Biden’s message differed from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s comments earlier in the week that a food shortage in the U.S. is not expected.
“While we’re not expecting a food shortage here at home, we do anticipate that higher energy, fertilizer, wheat, and corn prices could impact the price of growing and purchasing critical fuel supply, food supplies for countries around the world,” Psaki said. “And early estimates from the World Bank suggest disproportionate impacts on low and middle-income countries including in Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.”
Higher prices in the U.S. could mean more food instability here, but around the world, it could mean starvation for the world’s poor, who will not be able to buy enough food to survive if prices rise dramatically.
Psaki said that Biden’s administration was working with the U.N. and other global organizations to mitigate the impacts of food shortages on those economies.
The worst impacts will come if Russia and Ukraine aren’t able to plant crops because of the war between them, supply chain experts said to Fox News.