In his address to the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 21, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. announced over US$2.9 billion in new assistance from the U.S. Government to address global food insecurity. President Biden’s announcement builds on the $6.9 billion in U.S. government assistance to support global food security already committed this year.
The compounding impacts of the pandemic, the deepening climate crisis, rising energy and fertilizer costs, and protracted conflicts – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – have disrupted global supply chains and dramatically increased global food prices.
A multi-year drought in the Horn of Africa has created a dire humanitarian emergency, with parts of Somalia at risk of famine for the second time in just over a decade. This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium to long term food security assistance in order to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis.
On September 20, the United States convened a Global Food Security Summit co-chaired by Secretary of State Antony Blinken with the leaders of the European Union, African Union, and Spain, and co-hosted with Germany, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Colombia, on the margins of the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week.
The Global Food Security Summit reaffirmed the commitment of world leaders to act with urgency and at scale to respond to the pressing global food crisis and avert extreme hunger for hundreds of millions of people around the world. President Biden will also convene the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, on September 28, to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases here at home.
President Biden announced the following additional investments in lifesaving humanitarian and food security assistance this year:
Global Humanitarian Assistance: President Biden announced an additional $2 billion in global humanitarian assistance through USAID. This funding will help save lives in countries facing food security crises, including through food and nutrition assistance, health care, safe drinking water, protection for the most vulnerable, and other vital relief. This funding increase emergency food security programming in those countries most impacted by the pandemic, the climate crisis, and the rise in food prices and supply chain constraints resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Global Development Assistance: President Biden also announced $783 million in global development assistance funding, including:
- $140 million in new development funding, subject to Congressional notification, to accelerate last-mile delivery of agricultural tools, technologies, and production methods that will help smallholder farmers to boost their productivity, efficiency, and incomes. This funding will go towards the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative to scale a rapid response for smallholder systems in sub-Saharan Africa through the new Accelerated Innovation Delivery Initiative. This will support smallholder producers, small and medium agricultural enterprises, and national partners to maintain food production in the face of volatile global commodity prices and disrupted supply chains.
- $220 million, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for eight new school feeding projects that are expected to benefit nearly a million children in food-insecure countries in Africa and East Asia. Funds are being awarded through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.
- $178 million, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for seven international development projects on four continents to support U.S. government priorities including promoting climate-smart agriculture, facilitating trade, and addressing the root causes of migration in Central America. The funds are being awarded under the Food for Progress Program, through which USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service partners with non-governmental organizations and foreign governments on projects that help developing countries strengthen their agricultural systems and boost their trade capacity.
- Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the U.S. government and the Government of Malawi will also sign a new Malawi compact later this month. This compact includes a $245 million Accelerated Growth Corridors Project, which sets out an ambitious agenda to reduce transport costs and better connect goods, farms, and rural populations to markets.
Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP): President Biden announced that the United States has contributed $150 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, enabling the first new Call for Proposals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. contribution will encourage other donors—both government, multilaterals, and philanthropic groups—to match and announce additional commitments to support GAFSP’s Call. Given the scale of the challenge, the United States believes we can only overcome global food insecurity by working together to create innovative partnerships with international financial institutions, international organizations, and other key stakeholders. Through the Call, GAFSP will enable us to collaboratively respond to the most urgent needs of the growing food security crisis.
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