May 26, 2022

Van Hollen, Kaine Introduce Resolution Designating World Hunger Day

Resolution comes on 90th Anniversary of Ukrainian famine as Russia’s illegal occupation and invasion strangles global wheat supply

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a resolution designating May 28 as World Hunger Day. The resolution comes on the 90th anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933, known as the Holodomor, and as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to cause widespread destruction and strangles Ukraine’s ability to export much-needed wheat.

“This year, World Hunger Day and the remembrance of the Ukrainian Holodomor famine come at a perilous time. Putin’s use of hunger as a weapon of war and Russia’s continued blockade of Ukrainian ports have exacerbated the global food crisis leaving severe famine and despair in its wake. Inaction is not an option. We must hold Russia accountable and recommit to supporting those in dire need of help to tackle hunger and famine around the world,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Millions of Ukrainians lost their lives in a horrific famine that was the direct result of Joseph Stalin’s cruelty,” said Kaine. “90 years later, Russia’s unjustified and unprovoked war in Ukraine is impacting tens of millions and fanning the flames of food insecurity around the world. We need to reaffirm our commitment to fighting world hunger and hold Russia accountable for making the food insecurity crisis even worse.”  

“Just as we look back and reflect on the 90th anniversary of the horrific famine created by Joseph Stalin, Ukraine is again in crisis,” said Senator Portman. “Russia’s illegal and brutal assault has caused devastation in Ukraine and potentially a global food shortage due to Vladimir Putin blocking Ukrainian ports. I am proud to support today’s resolution, commemorating Holodomor, while once again condemning Russia’s unjustifiable actions.” 

“As Putin’s war of choice rages on, he has deprived millions of Ukrainians access to the food they need,” said Senator Durbin. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to address the devastating toll of food insecurity not just in Ukraine but all over the world.”

As the producer of roughly a fifth of the world’s high-grade wheat, Ukraine has historically played an outsized role in the global food supply. The ongoing war has caused prices for grains to soar around the world and threatened to put millions of people in countries dependent on Ukraine’s food exports in danger. 

The number of people around the world facing acute food insecurity greatly increased from 135 million in 2019 to 193 million in 2021. Last year, nearly 40 million people experienced emergency levels of acute food insecurity, which is just one step away from famine, and these figures are projected to worsen for 2022. 

Full text of the resolution is available here.