Administrator Samantha Power at the G7 Ministerial Conference "Uniting for Global Food Security"

Speeches Shim

Friday, June 24, 2022

ADMINISTRATOR POWER: Thank you so much and thank you for convening people who have the resources to do more and government representatives and international organization representatives who can speak to the gravity of what is confronting so many parts of the world.

We each have two minutes. That’s how long we’ve been asked to speak. And in those two minutes, our estimates tell us that nearly 200 more people will be pushed into a state of hunger and poverty as a result of Putin’s war. That’s just in two minutes. Every minute Putin’s blockade of Ukraine’s grain lasts, every minute his export ban on fertilizer continues, every minute his attack on Ukraine compounds the climate and price shocks that our world was already facing, every minute a 100 more people suffer gravely. Already the drought in the Horn of Africa is leading to millions of dead livestock—and what UNICEF predicts will be “an explosion of child deaths.” Today, we learned at least 1,103 children in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia have already died this year.

So we don’t have a minute to waste.

USAID is currently working to increase the distribution of drought-tolerant seeds in Senegal, installing solar-power refrigerators in rural markets to avoid food spoilage in Nigeria, and using satellite imagery to help Ethiopian farmers optimize their fertilizer application so none is wasted. We want to scale these efforts as well to other communities and other nations.

We’re also working in the private sector to help countries diversify away from dependence on Russia. Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a $500 million dollar investment to boost fertilizer production in the United States, and we’re working with global companies to bring millions of dollars of additional fertilizer to the market and help distribute it to poor farmers who can not afford the price hike.

But most of our response will come down, if we’re honest, to providing emergency assistance, and this, simply put, is about mobilizing money, much much more money. The United States is providing urgently needed cash, medicine, and food so that those hit hardest by this crisis will not perish. Everybody here today is helping in some fashion, and the war, the Ukraine war, is placing incredible demands on donors—everything from budget support to refugee relief. But citizens, communities, nations, and international organizations do not have enough resources to meet the exponentially growing food needs that we know about and that David Beasley and others have spoken about today. So again bluntly put, each of us must match the generosity we have shown toward Ukraine with resources to assist what are for now less visible victims of the war.

We do not have a minute to spare.

Thank you.

Last updated: July 15, 2022

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