US announces $2.5 billion in food assistance to Africa

AFP , Friday 16 Dec 2022

The United States on Thursday committed another $2.5 billion in food assistance to Africa, pledging to help the continent cope with rising prices blamed in part on Russia's invasion of breadbasket Ukraine.

Biden   African leaders
President Joe Biden speaks with African leaders as they gather to pose for a family photo during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. AP


President Joe Biden laid out the new commitment at the close of a three-day summit that brought nearly 50 African leaders to Washington.

Biden told leaders that the United States was concerned about rising hunger triggered "in part due to Russia's unprovoked war against Ukraine."

"Today, famine once more stalks the Horn of Africa," Biden said.

"Food security is an essential foundation for peace and prosperity. Simply put, if a parent can't feed their child, nothing else really matters."

He said the United States also wanted to work with Africa on developing arable land.

"Africa has the potential to feed its people but also to help feed the world," Biden said.

The White House said the $2.5 billion would provide emergency aid as well as medium- and long-term assistance to stabilize the African food supply.

The United States said it would also pursue a partnership with the African Union to bring together the public and private sectors and international financial institutions to address food needs.

The United States has already provided $11 billion in food assistance for the continent this year, the White House said.

The Horn of Africa has been especially hard hit after successive failed rainy seasons, with the United Nations saying that aid has staved off full-fledged famine in Somalia.

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