Nutrition food

Biden and world leaders pledge nutrition and food supply aid for Ukraine | national

Citing uncertainty over Ukraine’s food supplies amid Russia’s continued invasion of the country, President Joe Biden and world leaders on Thursday announced significant funding to boost nutrition and food security.

Over the next five years, the United States will provide 11 billion dollars through the Feed the Future initiative, while the European Union until 2024 will pledge 2.5 billion euros in as part of an international cooperation program related to nutrition.

“It’s going to be real,” Biden said Thursday of Ukraine’s food shortages caused by the conflict.

Biden, who was in Brussels on Thursday for meetings with European Commission leaders, NATO nations and G7 allies, said he had discussions about how “we could scale up and spread more the food quickly”.

“And on top of that, we talked about urging all European countries and everyone else to end trade restrictions on – on sending – limitations on sending food overseas,” said Biden to reporters.

The unity around the distribution of food aid to Ukraine and support for global agriculture comes as uncertainty persists over whether Ukraine’s winter wheat crop will be harvested or whether the corn will be sown.

Many countries in the Middle East and Africa depend on Ukraine – the country exports 12% of the world’s wheat, 15% of the world’s corn, 15% of the world’s barley and 50% of the world’s sunflower oil – for their own food supply.

Ukraine, along with Russia, is also a major producer and exporter of potassium, potash and other ingredients for making fertilizers. Administration officials said the availability and price of those supplies would likely be affected by the United States and other countries imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

The US initiative aims to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers in these countries and in Ukraine through access to improved agricultural technologies and inputs, finance and markets; strengthen agricultural market systems by creating a vibrant local private sector; and improving people’s access to higher quality diets and safer foods for better nutrition, according to the White House.

The EU program will support food systems in around 70 partner countries and is backed by an additional €330 million in emergency aid for basic goods and services.

“We are committed to working with partners to address the resulting supply challenges and to maintain strong, regulated and open global markets for the agricultural commodities that feed the world,” said Biden and the Commission President. European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, in a joint press release. .