Conflicts & War

NGO chef José Andrés joins humanitarian efforts in Ukraine

Lviv, Ukraine, Mar 12 (EFE).- Spanish chef José Andrés, founder of the World Central Kitchen NGO, unloads products at a restaurant in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv while his team prepares a plan to provide food to those fleeing caught up in the hostilities of the Russian invasion.

Speaking to Efe at !FESTrepublic, a concert venue that has been adapted to help with the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine, Andrés describes the war as a “hurricane that never stops.”

“It continues to cause more and more destruction and puts people in danger.”

The philanthropic cook traveled to the Polish border during the first week of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, and has traveled into Ukraine to help roll out the first phase of his NGO’s response to the crisis.

World Central Kitchen is dedicated to providing food relief in zones of conflict or natural disasters around the world.

“We arrived soon and started looking at what the response was going to be. This is one of the restaurants that we started to support,” he said.

“We’re not talking about days or weeks here, this is months.”

Pointing to the map on his mobile phone, the cook explains how they are taking food to the Black Sea port city of Odessa, which has been flagged as one of the next targets of the Russian offensive along with the capital, Kyiv.

Although the gas supply and Europe’s dependence on Russian energy is one of the main concerns during the conflict, nobody talks about food, the chef said.

“Everyone talks about energy, gas, oil, but we are seeing that Ukraine is a large producer of grain, what about that?” he added.

“The great energy that no one talks about is that of food because we take it for granted and how we neglect it (…) The big famines have started with the big wars.” EFE


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