For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations


The below is attributable to Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:

Today, Administrator Samantha Power traveled to Odesa, Ukraine where she visited the Odesa Sea Port the day after Putin failed to renew Russia’s participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI). Administrator Power met with Ukrainian government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Mykola Solskyi, to discuss the impacts of Russia pulling out of the deal as well as the ongoing work to create new export routes including through ports on the Danube River. They also discussed how to overcome Russia’s withdrawal from the BSGI, which USAID strongly supports. The BSGI allowed the export of over 32 million metric tons of grain and oilseed from Ukrainian ports since its launch in August 2022, helped lower and stabilize global food prices, and provided desperately needed food aid to millions of people around the world experiencing severe food insecurity.

Following the briefing with Ukrainian officials, Administrator Power met with small- and medium- scale farmers and AGRI-Ukraine partner Bayer, an agriculture input supplier. Administrator Power heard about some of the key challenges facing Ukrainian farmers as a result of Russia’s ongoing war, including barriers to trade, issues with obtaining inputs, and contamination of productive land with landmines and other ordinance. Administrator Power spoke about how through the Agriculture Resilience Initiative-Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine), USAID is helping farmers continue to stay in business and feed the world, despite the challenges of full-scale war. Launched in July 2022, AGRI-Ukraine has reached more than 30 percent of Ukraine’s registered farmers with critical inputs. Partnership with the private sector and the international community has been critical to AGRI-Ukraine’s success. Thus far, USAID has leveraged more than $250 million in private sector investments to maximize the impact of the initiative. USAID will also seek an additional $250 million in leveraged support from the private sector, other donors, and foundations.

Administrator Power held a press conference in the Odesa Grain Port where she announced that USAID, through AGRI-Ukraine, is providing an additional $250 million to support Ukraine’s embattled agriculture sector. This brings the U.S. government’s total investment in the sector to $350 million. With the additional $250 million announced today, USAID will continue to expand critical agricultural infrastructure and its support to enable small- and medium-sized agricultural businesses to access the financing and agricultural inputs they need to move forward with their 2023 sowing and harvesting plans. Ukraine’s overall agriculture sector accounts for 20 percent of Ukraine’s gross domestic product, 40 percent of Ukraine’s exports, and 17 percent of Ukraine’s workforce.

Administrator Power then held a small group discussion with human rights activists who are documenting war crimes and atrocities in newly liberated areas with the support of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the largest coalition of human rights organizations in Ukraine and local partner for USAID’s Human Rights in Action Program. Administrator Power reaffirmed that USAID is committed to standing with human rights activists, and a broader coalition of over 20 leading human rights organizations, to hold Russia accountable for war crimes and atrocities.

Administrator Power then met with the Ukrainian Volunteer Service (UVS), a USAID-supported, national volunteer group based in Odesa. The group promotes volunteerism and connects those who want to volunteer with communities and organizations looking for more support, particularly in frontline, liberated, and Russian-occupied areas. UVS recently played an important role in coordinating response efforts to the Kakhovka Dam Crisis. During the meeting, Administrator Power thanked the volunteers for their work and discussed top priorities for the Southern Ukrainian region and how USAID can support these efforts.

Administrator Samantha Power Visits Odesa, Ukraine

Administrator Power Travels to Ukraine - July 2023

During her visit to Ukraine, Administrator Samantha Power will highlight the many ways U.S. development, humanitarian, and economic assistance is supporting Ukrainians as they fight on the battlefield while at the same time laying the foundation for Ukraine’s long-term recovery and its future as a free, independent, democratic, and sovereign nation.

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