The US Treasury Department, along with several global development banks and other groups, has unveiled a multi-billion dollar plan to tackle a global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Ahead of the G7 finance ministers’ meetings, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday that several global development banks are “working swiftly to bring their funding, political commitment and technical assistance to fruition” to address war-related famine, rising food costs and the climate to prevent damage to crops.
Tens of billions would be spent on supporting farmers, dealing with the fertilizer supply crisis and opening up land for food production, among other things.
The Asian Development Bank would contribute funds to feed Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, and the African Development Bank would use $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) to support 20 million African farmers, according to the US Treasury Department.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank would also contribute tens of billions in the coming months and years to support food producers and address supply shortage problems.
The plan follows a meeting convened by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in April, where she urged powerful nations to seek concrete ways to address a looming food insecurity crisis in the world around the world that Russia’s war in Ukraine had made 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 rising food prices and uncertainty about the future of food security around the world, particularly in impoverished countries.
As part of efforts to deal with the crisis, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will convene meetings in New York on the fringes of the UN over the next two days, focusing on food insecurity.
The US State Department says acute food insecurity affected more than 193 million people worldwide in 2021, up 40 million from the previous year. It is estimated that up to 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, fuel migration and cause severe economic disruption. Conflicts have greatly exacerbated the problems of food security worldwide.
Ms Yellen arrived in Germany later this week for a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of the Seven Leading Economies in Bonn.
I thanked @vonderleyen and @USAmbEU today for their crucial leadership at this important time in Europe. We discussed critical issues related to energy security, Ukraine’s economic needs and continued coordination on imposing sanctions on Russia. pic.twitter.com/Za73wRgns9
— Secretary Janet Yellen (@SecYellen) May 17, 2022
She met with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday. Ms Yellen said they discussed “critical issues related to energy security, Ukraine’s economic needs and continued coordination to impose sanctions on Russia”.
As European nations plot to exit Russian oil and gas, the US is urging EU leaders to consider possible oil tariffs and other methods to prevent Russia from benefiting from higher energy prices.
Ms Yellen’s visit to Europe, which also included a stay in Poland, is intended to explore the fallout from the war in Ukraine, an international tax plan she negotiated with more than 130 countries last year and an energy crisis that is causing serious damage worldwide contributing to inflation.
In addition to imposing financial sanctions on Russia, distributing ongoing pandemic programs and other duties, Ms Yellen will now be responsible for ensuring the world’s most vulnerable populations do not starve as the war in Ukraine rages on and the wheat and grain supply is threatened worldwide.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/us-treasury-and-global-banks-unveil-plan-to-ease-food-crisis-from-russias-war-41662900.html US Treasury Department and global banks unveil plan to alleviate food crisis from Russia’s war