Austria Condemns Hunger as a Weapon

PeopleOther ♦ Published: November 28, 2022; 23:44 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria condemns Russia's tactic of using world hunger as a weapon. Austria pledges € 3.8 million to the initiative "Grain from Ukraine" for the delivery of Ukrainian grain to needy people in Ethiopia and Sudan.

Austria is providing a further 3.8 million euros to enable the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to supply Ukrainian cereals to the world's poorest people. / Picture: © Thomas Topf / © Parlamentsdirektion

"Even after 276 days, Russia does not desist from the cynical use of hunger and energy as a weapon against the Ukrainian people and the world in its war of aggression against Ukraine," says Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as part of the Grain from Ukraine initiative, which takes place in a hybrid format in Kyiv today to mark the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor.

Austria is providing another 3.8 million euros to enable the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to deliver Ukrainian grain to the world's poorest people.

The high-level summit is being attended this Saturday by heads of state and government and foreign ministers from some 15 EU member states, most of them virtually. Also joining are European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, among others.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg recalled the millions of Ukrainian women, children and men who perished in 1932-33 during the so-called Holodomor. At that time, he said, the Soviet leadership completely disregarded human life and human dignity.

Today we see the same thing. We will never forget the atrocities committed 90 years ago. And we must ensure that those responsible for the atrocities of today are held accountable.

Nine months of incessant and targeted shelling of civilians and civilian infrastructure with missiles and killer drones have caused untold human suffering and utter devastation in Ukraine. At the same time, Russia's war of aggression threatens to plunge millions of the most vulnerable around the globe into poverty, hunger and debt.

"The use of hunger as a weapon has no place in this world and must not be accepted," said Foreign Minister Schallenberg. Therefore, there is a need for solidarity-based and multilateral counter-offensives such as the "Grain from Ukraine" project, in which Austria will participate with a total of 3.8 million euros.

The Austrian contribution will be made available to the WFP, while 1 million euros will come from the Foreign Ministry's Foreign Disaster Fund and will be used to contribute to the transport, processing and distribution of a Ukrainian donation of 125,000 tons of grain for countries particularly affected by the acute food crisis. Specifically, the amount will be used to support the suffering population in Sudan. 2.8 million euros will be made available to the WFP from funds of the Austrian Development Cooperation Agency (ADA) for the purchase of Ukrainian grain for its humanitarian aid programs in Ethiopia.

Austria is thus once again increasing its comprehensive humanitarian commitment to those affected by the Russian war of aggression and its global repercussions. Since the start of the war on February 24, Austria has already provided more than 87 million euros in aid to Ukraine and its main affected neighboring countries such as Moldova. In addition, Austria has doubled its food assistance to particularly vulnerable states in the Middle East and Africa this year to almost 20 million euros.