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G20 nations agree to tackle food crisis, but divided on Ukraine war

G20 finance chiefs agreed on the need to tackle a looming global food crisis, but were divided on how to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Indonesia's finance minister said on Saturday.

Jakarta, 16 July 2022 (dpa/MIA) – G20 finance chiefs agreed on the need to tackle a looming global food crisis, but were divided on how to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Indonesia’s finance minister said on Saturday.

The two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies on the Indonesian resort island of Bali ended without a joint communique because of different views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We all agreed that food insecurity needs attention, an intervention and policy and that’s why we discussed how we are going to fix supply disruptions,” Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said.

“First, protectionism should be removed in order for us to create or facilitate the flow of food from the production side or countries to other countries that need it,” she said.

Some participants insisted on including the countries’ views on the Russian war in Ukraine, Sri Mulyani said.

“Countries have stances which cannot be reconciled,” she said.

“They wanted to express their views regarding certain issues, in particular related to the war … reflecting there are still views that are different within the G20,” she added.

Sri Mulyani warned on Friday that rising prices, partly as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine, could trigger social instability and unrest.

She said that the triple threat of war, soaring commodity prices and increased global inflation could create a spillover to debts not only for poor countries but middle-income and even advanced economies.

Indonesia is this year’s chair of the G20 group of the world’s major economies.

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