U.S., Banks Unveil Plan to Ease Russia’s War Food Crisis

Ahead of G7 finance ministers meetings, the US Treasury, several global development banks and other groups unveiled a multibillion-dollar plan to deal with a global food security crisis exacerbated by the war in Russia in Ukraine

The Treasury Department announced that several global development banks were “working quickly to leverage their funding, political commitment, and technical assistance” to avert war-induced starvation, rising food prices, and climatic damage to crops.

Tens of billions will be spent to support farmers, address the fertilizer supply crisis and develop land for food production, among other issues. The Asian Development Bank will provide funds to feed Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and the African Development Bank will use $1.5 billion to help 20 million African farmers, according to the Treasury.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank will also contribute tens of billions in the months and years to come to support food producers and address food issues. supply shortage.

The plan stems from a meeting Yellen convened in April during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings, where she called on powerful nations to seek specific ways to tackle a looming food insecurity crisis. in the world that Russia’s war in Ukraine has made it even worse.

Russia and Ukraine produce a third of the world’s wheat supply, and the loss of raw materials due to war has led to soaring food prices and uncertainty about the future of food security in the world. world, especially in poor countries.

As part of efforts to address the crisis, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will convene meetings in New York on the sidelines of the UN over the next two days on food insecurity. The State Department says that in 2021, more than 193 million people worldwide experienced acute food insecurity, an increase of 40 million people from the previous year. According to projections, as many as 40 million people will be pushed into poverty and food insecurity by the end of the year.

Fuel and fertilizer shortages in many countries and accelerating food price spikes threaten to destabilize fragile societies, increase hunger and malnutrition, spur migration and cause severe economic dislocation . Conflicts have greatly exacerbated food security problems around the world.

Yellen arrived in Germany for a meeting of finance ministers from major Group of Seven economies in Bonn, Germany, later this week. She met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday. Yellen said he discussed “critical issues related to energy security, Ukraine’s economic needs and continued coordination to impose sanctions on Russia.”

As European nations plan to phase out Russian oil and gas, the United States is urging European leaders to consider possible oil tariffs and other methods to prevent Russia from benefiting from rising oil prices. energy.

Yellen’s visit to Europe, which included time in Poland, is meant to deal with the effects of war in Ukraine, an international tax plan she negotiated with more than 130 countries last year and an energy crisis contributing to high inflation around the world.

In addition to being responsible for imposing financial sanctions on Russia, distributing pandemic programs still in effect and other tasks, Yellen will now be responsible for ensuring that the world’s most vulnerable populations do not die of hungry as war in Ukraine rages and threatens wheat and grain supplies. global.

Leave a Comment