The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is contributing up to $20 million to the Ukraine Grain Initiative, announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky at the G20 Summit earlier this week, to help feed people around the world facing staggering levels of food insecurity, USAID will provide support through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to facilitate additional shipments of Ukrainian grain under the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
Prior to Putin’s invasion, Ukraine was one of the WFP’s main grain suppliers and the world’s fourth largest commercial wheat exporter. The Kremlin’s brutal war with Ukraine halted supplies and for months millions of tons of grain and essential food exports were stuck in the country, exacerbating an already catastrophic global food crisis and causing food prices to skyrocket. Since the UN-brokered agreement began in August, the Initiative has helped stabilize rising food prices around the world and provided desperately needed food to millions of people.
Today’s announcement builds on existing US $173 million support to WFP to buy Ukrainian grain to feed people in countries facing the most severe food crises, including Ethiopia, Yemen and Afghanistan. Thanks to American funds, 210,000 tons of food were purchased, enough to feed about 12.6 million people for one month.
Since Putin’s war with Ukraine began in February, the United States has given more than $11 billion to respond to the global food crisis, including nearly $8.6 billion in humanitarian aid. USAID’s humanitarian assistance, including our support to WFP, includes direct food assistance as well as other support, including safe drinking water, health care, and protection to meet needs made worse by food crises.
USAID continues to help Ukrainian farmers who risk their lives to feed the world through the Agricultural Resilience Initiative – Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine). AGRI-Ukraine supports the production and export of Ukrainian agriculture, while responding to the long-term needs of the sector. The initiative focuses on four areas that are critical to sustaining Ukrainian agricultural exports and their contribution to global food security: providing farmers with critical resources; improving logistics and export infrastructure; increasing farmers’ access to finance and supporting crop drying, storage and processing needs. USAID has invested $100 million in the initiative, and the agency is seeking to raise at least $150 million in additional funding from other donors, foundations and the private sector.