Global Food Security Summit: Urgent action needed to combat hunger

World leaders taking part in a conference in New York have accused Russia of aggravating a global food crisis, and called for urgent action to combat hunger.

The Global Food Security Summit was held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The meeting was co-chaired by the United States, the European Union, Spain, the African Union and others.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his speech that more than 190 million people had been driven into acute food insecurity at the outset of this year due to conflicts, the coronavirus pandemic and climate crisis.

He added that according to the World Food Programme, Russian President Vladimir Putin's "brutal war of aggression" in Ukraine may add another 70 million people to that figure.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Russia must end its illegal war against Ukraine. He said Ukraine has been an essential source of the world's food supply and that Russia is trying to blackmail the international community with hunger.

European Council President Charles Michel warned that famine is imminent in many parts of the world. He called on countries to turn their political commitment into concrete actions to tackle the crisis.