The United States Agency for International Development announced this week that the US government will spend $68 million in an effort to assist in the distribution of grain around the world now that grain exports out of Ukraine have resumed.
The world has experienced a global grain shortage since the invasion of Ukraine, an important international bread basket, in February. Ukrainian ports have been under siege and no grain has been allowed to leave the country until this week, when exports resumed under an agreement brokered last month by the Turkish government and the United Nations that allows grain shipments out of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports.
USAID announced the United States will turn over the $68 million to the United Nations World Food Program, which will work to efficiently distribute the grain shipments to the areas most in need.
“The world is facing its most severe food crisis in decades,” the announcement reads. “In order to save lives, humanitarians need access to all available grain stores to deliver to the populations that need it most. Before Russia’s invasion, Ukraine was one of WFP’s top suppliers of grain and the fourth largest commercial exporter of wheat. Opening the Ukrainian market is a vital step forward in our emergency response.”
The shipments are desperately needed in some African countries that have been hardest hit by the grain shortage, including Nigeria, Somalia and Ethiopia.
“An estimated 386,000 children in Somalia are now in desperate need of treatment for life-threatening severe acute malnutrition – now exceeding the 340,000 children who required treatment at the time of the 2011 famine,” said Rania Dagash, who is the UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, in June. “The number of children facing this most deadly form of malnutrition has increased by more than 15 per cent in the space of five months.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LATESTUSNEWSHUB.COM
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