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43 million people on brink of starvation due to Ukraine war

WASHINGTON - The extent of the human suffering caused by the war is set to reach further across the world. Catastrophic wheat shortages risk sending millions to the brink of starvation and setting off a wave of migration as the world's poor take to the road in search of food, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The crunch caused by Covid and the Russian invasion of Ukraine risks being compounded by misplaced protectionism as dozens of governments around the world impose restrictions on the trade of essentials including energy and food, the economic watchdog said.

David Beasley, head of the UN's World Food Programme, said Putin's blockade of Ukrainian ports "is a declaration of war on global food security," as 43 million people are "knocking on starvation's door" without exports from Europe's breadbasket.