Biden to announce $2.9 billion at UN to address food insecurity
President Biden on Wednesday will announce nearly $3 billion in new U.S. commitments to address global food insecurity, an issue that has been worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, Biden will outline $2 billion in global humanitarian assistance through U.S. Agency for International Development to increase emergency food security programing in countries most affected by the pandemic and supply chain woes exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. The money will go toward food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water and other relief, the White House said.
The funding also includes $220 million through the Department of Agriculture for eight new school feeding projects that would benefit children in Africa and East Asia.
Another $178 million through the Department of Agriculture will be used for development projects around the globe to promote climate-smart agriculture and address the root causes of migration in Central America, according to the White House.
Biden will also announce a $150 million commitment from the U.S. to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, and he will encourage other donors, such as governments and philanthropic groups, to make their own contributions.
“This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium to long term food security assistance in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis,” the White House said in a fact sheet.
Food insecurity will be a major topic at this year’s General Assembly gathering. Climate change and lack of access to clean water and proper nutrition has long been a concern in many parts of the world.
But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year further threatened access to food, as Ukraine is one of the top exporters of wheat in the world. Russia blockaded the export of food for weeks at one point, threatening the supply chain and increasing the cost of food in other countries.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday co-chaired a Global Food Security Summit with leaders from the European Union, African Union, Spain and other nations.
Biden is expected next week to host a White House conference focused on hunger, nutrition and health, spotlighting the issue domestically.