The global food crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine will kill millions by leaving the hungriest more vulnerable to infectious diseases, potentially triggering the world's next health catastrophe, the head of a major aid organisation has warned.
A Russian naval blockade of Ukraine's Black Sea ports has stopped grain shipments from the world's fourth-largest exporter of wheat and corn, raising the spectre of shortages and hunger in low-income countries.
The knock-on effects of the food shortages mean many will die not only of starvation but from having weaker defences against infectious diseases due to bad nutrition, Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria told AFP this week.
"I think we've probably already begun our next health crisis. It's not a new pathogen but it means people who are poorly nourished will be more vulnerable to the existing diseases," he said in an interview on the sidelines of a G20 health minister meeting in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.