Biden has pledged another $2.9 billion to fight world hunger as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wreaks havoc around the world.

World hunger is expected to increase this year, partly because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further disrupted supply chains and driven up global food prices.

“It is Russia’s war that is increasing food insecurity, and only Russia can end it,” Biden said, stressing that several countries continue to export food and fertilizers thanks to the sanctions imposed on Russia.

Nearly 120 million more people will be food insecure this year in 77 low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a recent report by the US Department of Agriculture. .

This includes nearly 42 million more food insecure people due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising fertilizer and energy prices. Russia and Ukraine together account for a quarter of global wheat exports and are among the world’s largest corn producers and exporters.

According to the report, which is published annually, a total of 1.3 billion people will be food insecure in the countries analyzed this year, an increase of almost 10% over 2021.

Billions in US aid this year

The aid announced by Biden on Wednesday adds to the $6.9 billion the US is committing to global food security this year, the administration said.

Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the cost of food, energy, and fertilizer soared. Likewise, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly increased food insecurity in the countries analyzed as economies contracted in 2020.

About $2 trillion in additional funds will go to global humanitarian aid through the U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID. It will provide food and nutrition assistance, drinking water, health care and other assistance.

The remaining money will be used to support small farmers and school children, as well as to fund other food security efforts.

The outlook for food insecurity is expected to improve by 2032 as economic growth improves, according to the USDA report. According to forecasts, about 577 million people will be food insecure in the countries analyzed at that time, a decrease of almost 57%.

The White House is also focused on food insecurity in the US. He will hold a conference on hunger, nutrition and health next Wednesday, more than 50 years after the first and only meeting of this kind.
Food insecurity among US families with children fell in 2021, reversing a rise in the first year of the pandemic, according to a separate USDA report released earlier this month. But older Americans who lived alone experienced increased food insecurity.