Volume 7 Issue 24_Sun Bay Paper

Environmental “In a year when the world is already facing an unprecedented level of hunger, it’s just tragic to see hunger raising its head in what has long been the breadbasket of Europe,” said Beasley during a visit to a staging hub set up by the WFP on the Polish-Ukrainian border. “The bullets and bombs in Ukraine could take the global hunger crisis to levels beyond anything we’ve seen before.” Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 29 percent of the global wheat trade. Any serious disruption of production and exports from the region could push food prices beyond their current 10-year highs, Beasley explained. “This will erode food security for millions of people, especially those who are already under stress because of high levels of food inflation in their countries.” As well as exporting a significant proportion of the world’s wheat, over the past 10 years Ukraine has become WFP’s biggest supplier of foods such as sunflower oil. Due to the the Russian invasion, Ukraine now has banned exports of fertilizers, the agriculture ministry said on Saturday. Ukraine had already banned exports of some agricultural commodities and introduced licenses for its key export goods – wheat, corn and sunflower oil. With reports coming in of severe shortages of food and water in Kyiv, the capital, and the heavily bombarded northeastern city of Kharkiv, WFP teams are setting up operations and hubs in countries bordering Ukraine. These will facilitate delivery of food assistance into the country and assist Ukrainian refugees coming across the borders. The immediate priority is to establish a food lifeline into Kyiv and other conflict hotspots, Beasley said. In Ukraine’s south, the Black Sea basin is one of the world’s most important areas for grain and agricultural production, and the impact of the conflict on food security will be felt far beyond Ukraine’s border, inflicting the worst suffering on the poorest of the poor. “Conflict is a main driver of hunger and food insecurity in the world,” Beasley said. “We now have 283 million people marching towards starvation with 45 million knocking on famine’s door. The world cannot afford to let another conflict drive the numbers of hungry people even higher.” WFP operated in eastern Ukraine from 2014 to 2018, reaching more than one million people through cash, food vouchers or locally purchased food rations, while operating in both government- and non-government-controlled areas. We remain committed to support all affected populations in Ukraine and in neighboring countries as required,” Beasley said. Between February and May, Ukrainian farmers would normally be preparing land for planting wheat, barley, maize or corn, and sunflowers. But this year, Ukrainian farmers have even more immediate concerns as millions of Ukrainians flee, fight and just try to stay alive. Ports that send wheat and other food staples worldwide are shut down. And there are worries Russian grain exports could be cut off by Western sanctions. Wheat prices have risen 55 percent since a week before the invasion. If the war is prolonged, countries reliant on affordable wheat exports from Ukraine could face shortages starting in July, International Grains Council Director Arnaud Petit told Associated Press. The FAO is stressing that all efforts should be made to protect harvests and livestock, during the intense and growing conflict. And in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised statement Friday that Ukrainian farmers must sow as many crops as they possibly can this spring, despite the Russian invasion. “This spring, as much as any spring, we must make a full-fledged sowing campaign. As much as possible,” Zelenskiy said. “Because it’s about life. About our life,” Zelenskiy said. “About our future.” © Environment News Service (ENS) 2022 All rights reserved. www.ens-newswire.com Page 13 Bombing the Breadbasket Cont. from pg 1 America's 10 Best Governors Bill Lee, 7:New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, 8:Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, 9:Georgia Brian Kemp and 10:Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. The bottom 10 were all Democrats: 41:Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, 42:Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Gov. 43:Tom Wolf , 44:Hawaii Gov. David Ige, 45:New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, former 46:New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 47:Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, 48:California Gov. Gavin Newsom, 49:Rhode Island Gov. Daniel McKee, and lastly 50:New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. The report ranked governors based on three broad categories: Executive policies, economic performance and fiscal policy. Executive policies include union control, education freedom and welfare dependency. Economic performance included a range of metrics including interstate migration, education quality, Gross State Product growth and unemployment rate. Fiscal policy included debt, corporate income tax, personal income tax, government spending per capita and federal unemployment benefits. The metrics were different than the group's 2020 report, which focused more heavily on COVID-19 lockdown policies, said Jonathan Williams, ALEC’s chief economist and contributor to the report. The American Legislative Exchange Council is a nonpartisan organization of state legislators focused on limited government, free markets and federalism. The top 10 governors shared some common traits: Lower taxes, policies encouraging domestic energy production, lower unemployment rates and tended to be among those who cut off the enhanced federal unemployment benefits sooner rather than later, Williams said. The top 10 is a competitive group, Williams said. "There is a great group of governors in that top 10 and those states are really some of the powerhouse states across the country," he said. "So sometimes the degree of difference between them may be very slight, but this is based on equal weighting of the variables." The bottom 10 includes the governors of five of the nation's 10 largest states, including California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan. The number of people living in California, New York and Illinois have been declining. "There's a lot of competition for the bottom," Williams said. "They are looking to empower government to have a more command and control top-down economic system where it empowers politicians and not the markets, not business owners and individuals and of course, what we're seeing is revealed preferences, that is what we call it in economics, people are voting with their feet every single year away from states like New York and California and Illinois." Brett Rowland The Center Square