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Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced a unilateral ban on food imports, including sugar, oil, pasta, semolina and wheat derivatives.
The state news agency said the president labeled the exportation of its foodstuff as “economic sabotage” to sell items that the country does not produce locally.
The president’s decision also bans the importation of frozen meat products.
Countries around the globe have seen a hike in the price of essential foods such as wheat amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The European nation has been dubbed “the world’s breadbasket,” an estimated that 10 million tonnes of wheat in Ukraine could be lost grain farmers are unable to fertilize their crops.
Russia and Ukraine supply about 30% of the world’s wheat. The conflict has spurned nations around the world to take drastic action.
“It’s yet one more instance of conflict surfacing in the world at a time when the world just can’t sustain it,” said Steve Taravella, senior spokesperson at the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations, via Vox. “Hunger rates are rising significantly globally, and one of the largest drivers of hunger is manmade conflict.”
Hungary, Argentina, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey have placed restrictions on exports of key food products. China has also indicated it will potentially hold back on rice exports. Many Middle Eastern states also depend on Ukraine and Russia for sunflower oil.
“It’s like pandemic hoarding, but it’s not toilet paper, it’s millions of bushels of grain that normally feed large portions of the world,” a Biden administration official told Politico. “Countries are instead sitting on those supplies because they aren’t sure when this will end.”