Mercy Corps Statement on Black Sea Grain Deal Extension

Responding to today's news that the Black Sea grain deal has been extended, Mercy Corps Executive Director for Europe, Harpinder Collacott says: 

“The renewal of the Black Sea grain deal is a welcome relief as we face an even more dire food crisis in 2023, particularly in lower-income countries. While the details remain unclear, it is concerning that the deal was possibly extended for only 60 days, rather than the previously-agreed 120 day timeframe. But any extension of the grain deal is nothing short of necessary to help ease global grain shortages and alleviate food insecurity in many parts of the world.

“Keeping grains flowing from Ukraine and ensuring stability for global commodity prices will be important mitigation measures as food shortages and income losses this year are likely to worsen, particularly in countries that saw major climate disasters last year - places like Nigeria and Pakistan, which experienced severe flooding in the second half of 2022 that submerged wide swaths of agricultural lands and disrupted planting and harvest cycles. Elsewhere, places like earthquake-affected Northwest Syria continue to rely heavily on Ukrainian grain while facing mounting humanitarian needs.”

“The grain deal is one important tool in our toolbox to ease food shortages and continue mitigating global food insecurity - but the root cause and solution for today’s worsening hunger catastrophe will continue to go far beyond Ukrainian grain.”