President Joe Biden said Thursday there will be food shortages around the world because of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s getting real,” he said. ‘Because both Russia and Ukraine have been the breadbasket of Europe when it comes to wheat, for example.’
Food security, along with general humanitarian aid, was one of the main topics of discussion in Biden’s trifecta of emergency meetings with NATO leaders, the European Union and the G7. The summits were convened to deal with the invasion of Ukraine.
“We are working with our European friends to find out what it takes to allay concerns about food shortages. We also talked about a significant major US investment, including to meet the need for humanitarian aid, including food for the future,” he said.
Ukraine is a heavily agricultural country with winter wheat, spring barley and maize as some of the main crops.
The United States, through the Feed the Future initiative, will provide more than $11 billion over the next five years to address food security threats and malnutrition around the world — with programming in many of the countries vulnerable to increases in food and fertilizer prices. .
A senior government told reporters in a briefing Thursday that the Russian invasion “endangers global food security, particularly for vulnerable populations in the Middle East and Africa” as farms are destroyed.
President Joe Biden said there will be food shortages around the world because of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine
Grain silos reportedly hit by Russian attack in Uman, Ukraine
The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) warned on Thursday that the war in Ukraine is already leading to rising food prices and shortages of staple crops in parts of Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a decline in supplies from the two countries, which together account for about 25% of world wheat exports and 16% of world maize exports, leading to rising prices for the grains in Ukraine. the international markets.
Russia is also one of the world’s largest suppliers of fertilizer – whose prices had already risen last year, contributing to a 30% rise in world food prices and a related increase in global hunger levels.
The European Union on Wednesday proposed a $549 million aid package to help food producers in the 27-nation bloc endure the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine.
Although the EU has no immediate food shortage, the region is a net importer of specific commodities, including forage from Ukraine. And European farmers rely heavily on Russian fertilizers to grow their crops.
“This vulnerability, along with high input costs, such as fertilizers and fossil fuels, creates production challenges for farmers and threatens to drive up food prices,” the committee said in its proposal.
The food aid is part of a larger humanitarian aid plan proposed by the Biden administration for the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine.
That means, among other things, that the United States will take in 100,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Biden administration announced on Thursday.
It aims to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe, where nearly 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled their bombed country in one of the worst refugee crises since World War II.
Refugees have flooded into Europe and some have even made their way to the southern border of the United States, trying to enter the country that way.
In addition to welcoming more IDPs, the Biden administration also announced more than $1 billion in new funding for humanitarian aid.
The funding will provide food, shelter, clean water, medical supplies and other aid, according to the White House.
Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion of their homeland wait for a US customs and border protection agent before passing a checkpoint to enter the United States in Tijuana, Mexico
Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion attempt to enter US through southern border – Biden administration announced it will take 100,000 refugees
TIJUANA, MEXICO – MARCH 22: A Ukrainian family fleeing Kiev, Ukraine waits with their luggage before being allowed to cross the San Ysidro port of entry into the United States to apply for asylum
Ukrainians rest in an exhibition hall converted into a refugee center in Nadarzyn, near Warsaw, Poland – nearly 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled their country
Refugees from Ukraine queue as they wait for further transport at the Medyka border crossing, after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border
President Biden will address the refugee situation during his visit to Poland on Saturday.
Poland, which shares a border of about 300 miles with Ukraine, has hosted the majority of the refugees — about 2.1 million — but the nearby countries of Romania and Hunger have also taken in many Ukrainians.
Biden has been criticized for not doing more to alleviate the crisis. He has sworn to help.
“I will welcome the Ukrainian refugees,” he said from the White House on March 11.
As for the refugees, a senior government official said the US will focus on Ukrainians who already have families in America and said they expect most Ukrainians to want to stay in Eastern Europe in hopes of returning to their homes.
“In particular, we are working to expand and develop new programs with a focus on welcoming Ukrainians who have relatives in the United States,” the official said in a briefing interview with reporters.
“We still expect that most Ukrainians displaced will want to remain citizens in neighboring countries or elsewhere in the EU, where they may have relatives and where there are already large diaspora communities in the hope that they can return home soon,” the official added. .
To get around the 125,000 refugee limit, the US will go through the full range of legal avenues, including the US Refugee Admissions Program, others will come on family-based visas or some other process known as humanitarian parole.
Precise details of how the refugees will be brought to the United States – both legally and logistically – were not clear.
Efforts will also target particularly vulnerable populations such as women, children, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTQI+) and persons with disabilities, the government said.
President Biden’s Administration Will Also Pledge $1 Billion in Financial Aid for Humanitarian Needs
A person from Ukraine shows paperwork to US customs and border guards before being allowed to cross the US border at Tijuana
A Ukrainian refugee boy plays in the Humanitarian Aid Center at the Ptak Warsaw Expo in Nadarzyn, near Warsaw