Yesterday, at an event on the sidelines of the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced approximately $331 million in humanitarian and long-term development assistance to address food security and resilience in the region.
Food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean is increasing after more than a year of inflationary pressures, rising energy and fuel prices, disruptions from the global pandemic, the ongoing impacts of climate change and extreme weather, and the impact of the war in Ukraine. Countries that rely significantly on imports for food are particularly vulnerable to rising food costs, and many in the region are experiencing the highest rates of inflation and increases in food prices in more than ten years. Meanwhile, the region is highly exposed to disruptions in global fertilizer supply due to shortages and bans imposed by Russia, which historically has provided the majority of the region’s fertilizer.
This $331 million funding announcement includes more than $198 million of emergency food security programming and related assistance such as nutrition, health, protection, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to provide a holistic response. To address medium to long-term term food security and resilience measures in the region, more than $132 million in Feed the Future funds, subject to Congressional approval, will go towards resources that aim to help smallholder farmers in Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Peru improve productivity of high-value horticulture crops, increase incomes, and bolster farmers’ capacity to withstand shocks like higher fertilizer prices and impacts of climate change.
USAID is also accelerating ongoing efforts working with smallholder farmers in Latin America to increase their agricultural productivity, diversify their incomes, strengthen market connections, expand access to finance, and improve household level nutrition.