Biden pledges $2.9 bln for food crisis made worse by Russia

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President Joe Biden announced $2.9 billion in fresh US government assistance to address global food insecurity during his speech Wednesday to the United Nations General Assembly.

The new funds are a response to growing concerns about hunger worldwide due to rising food, fertilizer and energy prices caused in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to the White House.


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Biden accused Russia of trying to blame food shortages on allied sanctions, saying instead that President Vladimir Putin’s military actions were responsible.

“Russia in the meantime is pumping out lies trying to pin the blame for the crisis, the food crisis, on the sanctions imposed by many in the world for the aggression against Ukraine,” he said. “It’s Russia’s war that is worsening food insecurity, and only Russia can end it.”

The US will spend $2 billion in humanitarian assistance from the Agency for International Development, including money for food aid, health care and safe drinking water in vulnerable countries, the White House said in a statement.

More than $780 million will go toward development funding to help farmers develop sustainable growing methods and improve food delivery systems, among other projects. The US is also contributing $150 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program.

The new money comes on top of $6.9 billion to address food security the US already committed this year.

The UN brokered an agreement with Turkey’s help to allow more Ukrainian grain to reach the world market in an effort to lower prices. But Putin has threatened to curtail the agreement, claiming that not enough shipments have reached the world’s poor.

“We’re calling on all countries to refrain from banning food exports or hoarding grain while so many people are suffering,” Biden said.

Read more: Sheikh Mohammed tours ECO 1, world’s largest vertical hydroponic farm in Dubai

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