USAID to provide $68 million to help secure Ukrainian grain for needy

The U.S. Agency for International Development, in partnership with several foundations, has launched a program to help feed the world’s most vulnerable, according to Administrator Samantha Power.

She said it has been nearly six months ago since Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, exacerbating a brutal unprovoked war against the country and the result has heightened food insecurity on a global basis.

“The war has impacted millions inside of Ukraine, but the damage has not stayed contained within the country. Russia’s effective blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports trapped more than 20 million tons of Ukrainian grain inside the country for months, exacerbating the most severe food crisis the world has seen in decades.

“Now that the United Nations—after months of negotiation—has helped reach a deal between Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey to resume Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea, I am pleased to share that the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, is providing over $68 million in additional funding to the UN World Food Program to purchase, move, and store up to 150,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat to help respond to the global food crisis. USAID, in partnership with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Minderoo Foundation, supported the first humanitarian grain shipment to leave the Black Sea via Ukraine’s Yuzhny Port today. This includes the 23,000 metric tons of wheat that will go to support the humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa, where a historic drought is pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation.”

This relief is critical, she said. Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine was one of WFP’s top suppliers of grain and the fourth largest commercial exporter of wheat. The war on Ukraine has caused food and fuel prices to spike globally and contributed to staggering levels of food insecurity.

While this additional wheat will be used to help feed people in countries facing severe hunger and malnutrition, much more is needed to help the world recover from the global devastation, Power said. “It’s essential that we continue to build on the progress we’ve seen over the last few weeks so that millions of tons of food currently in storage within the country is allowed to move freely out of Ukrainian ports and into the hands of people across the world struggling to find their next meal.”

The U.S. has provided nearly $7.6 billion in assistance to respond to the global food crisis since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine, Power said.