An official in the Biden administration stated on Tuesday that in an effort to combat the global food shortages that have been caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and its allies in the Group of 7 will make a commitment to spend $5 billion this year to help ensure food security around the globe.
After two days of negotiations in the German Alps, the leaders of the G7 affluent democracies are due to release their concluding statement later on Tuesday. At that time, an announcement about the pledge is anticipated to be made.
After four months of sanctions against Moscow and military support for Ukraine, the United States and its Western allies are scrambling to find new ways to tighten the pressure on Russia and shore up the global economy. This is because the sanctions and support have not been successful in slowing down Russia’s aggression. Even though Russia’s conflict is driving up food and energy costs, President Biden and other world leaders are trying to show that they are still committed to continuing to punish Russia by demonstrating their determination at the G7 conference and a NATO gathering that starts on Tuesday.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, grain exports from Ukraine have been halted, and Russia has lowered the amount of wheat and oil it ships out, which has led to an increase in the price of food elsewhere in the world. The two nations together are responsible for the export of around 30 percent of the world’s wheat and 75 percent of its sunflower oil. The shortages have raised concerns all across the world due to the fact that it is estimated that they may force as many as 40 million people to fall into poverty as a direct result.
According to the official, who requested anonymity in order to discuss the food security commitment prior to its formal announcement, the United States will commit more than half of the new funding for food security, which is estimated to be $2.7 billion, and will be financed by the $40 billion Ukraine aid legislation that was passed by Congress last month. This legislation was intended to help Ukraine.
The offer of $5 billion will not be enough to remedy the shortages that are occurring all around the world. However, the official from the administration said that two billion dollars of the United States assistance will be utilised for direct humanitarian action in regions that are now experiencing urgent starvation or famine. According to the official, the remaining 760 million dollars will be spent on the improvement of food distribution networks over the short and medium terms.
The United States and its European allies are making an attempt to liberate Ukrainian grain that is stuck in the nation as a result of blockades imposed by Russia; this is one of the difficulties that has not yet been addressed.
According to the source, finding a solution that would allow the grain to be released and distributed throughout the world’s food markets is at the very top of the list of priorities for Mr. Biden and his counterparts. The official, however, did not want to comment on whether or not the leaders had agreed upon a particular strategy to achieve that objective.
Vladimir V. Putin, the President of Russia, has suggested that the grain be released in return for a relaxation of the sanctions; however, Mr. Biden and the other leaders have rejected this suggestion. Because of Mr. Putin’s use of food as a bargaining chip, European authorities have accused him of committing “war crimes.”
On Tuesday, an official working for the Biden administration accused Vladimir Putin of using food as a weapon of war by doing acts like as stealing grain and damaging food storage and manufacturing facilities.