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G7 Commits $4.5 Bln To Address Global Food Security

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To address and mitigate further impacts on global food security and surge in prices triggered by the Russian blockade of Black Sea ports, the G7 Summit pledged an additional $4.5 billion. More than half of it - $2.76 billion - will come from the United States.

The leaders of the world's seven major economies called on countries and companies with large food stockpiles to contribute to the global food basket.

"We call on those partners with large food stockpiles, as well as on the private sector, to make food available without distorting the market," says a statement issued by the Group of Seven leaders after the three-day summit in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany.

They called on all countries to avoid excessive stockpiling of food which can lead to further price increases.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and its dramatic economic impacts, in particular soaring food and energy prices, has dominated this year's G7 discussions.

The leaders were focused on discussing a range of approaches to addressing the issue of how to facilitate Ukraine's grain reach global markets.

Russia's blockade of Black Sea ports prevents millions of tons of food grain from being shipped out of Ukraine, a country known as Europe's breadbasket.

Ukraine is a major global grain producer, and its inability to export the stock resulted in the shortfalls in global markets. Those pressures are becoming more acute as Ukraine reaches harvest season.

Estimates suggest that up to 40 million more people could be pushed into poverty in 2022 as a result of Putin's war in Ukraine and its secondary effects.

The G7 leaders, from UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, have agreed to "explore further measures to prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression."

"As for oil, we will consider a range of approaches, including options for a possible comprehensive prohibition of all services, which enable transportation for Russian seaborne crude oil and petroleum products globally, unless the oil is purchased at or below a price to be agreed in consultation with international partners," they said in the joint communique.

G7 will further reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to assist countries seeking to diversity their supplies.

"We encourage producer countries to increase their production to decrease the tension in energy markets, and in this context welcome OPEC's recent responses to tightening international markets. We call on them to continue action in this regard."

The summit decided to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, except in limited circumstances clearly defined by each country consistent with a 1.5 degree Celsius warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement.

G7 leaders expressed serious concern over the human rights violations in China, and the situation in the East and South China Seas.

The leaders committed to working together to develop a coordinated approach to remedy China's non-market practices to help ensure a level playing field for businesses and workers.

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