UN chief: Conflict in Ukraine aggravating triple crisis in Africa

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press conference with Senegal's president during his West Africa tour, in Dakar, on May 1, 2022. (JOHN WESSELS / AFP)

DAKAR – The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has aggravated the food, energy and finance crisis in Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said here on Sunday evening.

During a joint press conference with Senegalese President Macky Sall, Guterres said he had set up a Global Response Group to help mobilize United Nations agencies, development banks and other international organizations to mitigate the effects of the crisis, particularly in Africa.

Guterres called for lifting all unnecessary export restrictions to establish "a steady flow of food and energy" in open markets, and to control food prices

Guterres called for lifting all unnecessary export restrictions to establish "a steady flow of food and energy" in open markets, and to control food prices.

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"There will be no real solution to the problems of food security without reintegrating the agricultural production of Ukraine, as well as the food and fertilizer production of Russia and Belarus in world markets," he said.

Regarding energy crisis, the UN chief urged all countries to release strategic stocks and additional reserves for countries in need by accelerating the promotion of renewable energies.

"International financial institutions should urgently put in place debt relief mechanisms to increase liquidity and fiscal space for developing countries," he said.

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Guterres arrived in Dakar Saturday evening. He also will visit Niger and Nigeria.