President Joe Biden and leaders from G-7 nations on Tuesday pledged to contribute billions of dollars in aid to address global food security prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, the White House said that over half of the $4.5 billion contribution will come from the United States.
Biden will also announce an additional $2.76 billion in humanitarian and economic assistance which will help support 47 countries that are home to the world’s most vulnerable populations, according to the statement, and “mitigate the impacts of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war in Ukraine on growing food insecurity and malnutrition.”
Of the additional $2.76 billion in government assistance, $2 billion will go toward life-saving interventions in areas facing immediate hunger or famine.
The other $760 million would be invested in “sustainable near-term food assistance” to help prevent further increases in poverty and hunger in vulnerable countries that are being hit hard by increases in the price of food, fertilizer, and fuel.
Up to 40 million more people could be pushed into poverty in 2022 as a result of the war in Ukraine, according to the White House.
“While the entire globe will continue to be affected by Russia’s actions, the most immediate needs will present in the Horn of Africa, as it experiences a record-setting fourth straight season of drought, that may lead to famine,” the statement reads. “As many as 20 million people may face the threat of starvation by the end of the year. The prolonged drought is also having dire nutrition impacts, putting children at severe risk of malnutrition and in need of treatment.”
‘Unjustifiable War of Aggression Against Ukraine’
In addition to the billions of dollars in funding from the Biden administration, the U.S. Agency for International Development is also committing $2 billion in international disaster assistance funds that will go toward emergency humanitarian needs over the next three months.
Biden made the joint pledge to donate $4.5 billion after meeting with leaders from the other G-7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom between June 26 to June 28 in Elmau, Germany.
In a joint statement, the G-7 leaders blamed the aggravated hunger crisis on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, which has blocked the export of grain from Ukraine, prompted disruption of agricultural production, and further weakened an already squeezed supply chain, while driving up the cost of food, fertilizer, and fuel across the world.
“We reemphasize our condemnation of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine. We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes, providing the needed financial, humanitarian, military, and diplomatic support in its courageous defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the G-7 leaders said in a joint statement.
G-7 leaders pledged more than $2.8 billion in humanitarian aid, adding that they are ready to grant, or have “pledged and provided $29.5 billion in budget aid. ”
Biden’s commitment to helping combat global food insecurity comes as inflation is at a 40-year high in the United States and interest rates have risen, leaving many experts fearing a recession is on the horizon.
The U.S. president has largely placed blame for the surge in inflation on “Putin’s price hike,” while a number of Republican lawmakers have pointed to the president’s policies which they say have exacerbated prices and contributed to a volatile oil market.