EXCLUSIVE: The Biden administration is criticizing China for failing to take part at the United Nations’ Food Security Ministerial led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken Wednesday, with an official calling the move “disappointing, but sadly not surprising.”
Blinken, on Wednesday, traveled to New York City to convene meetings to mobilize action on global food security amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has led to food shortages around the globe.
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China, however, did not show up for the meetings Wednesday.
“The Chinese government’s failure to show up at today’s food security ministerial at the United Nations in New York is disappointing, but sadly not surprising,” a Biden administration official told Fox News. “Last year China gave the World Food Program less than 1/1000th what the United States did. This year the UN has not cataloged a single humanitarian contribution from China, after a paltry $9.2 million last year.”
The State Department announced more than $2.3 billion in new global humanitarian food assistance since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, with a specific focus on countries hardest hit by food price hikes.
The Biden administration plans to announce additional new emergency food assistance during the ministerial in New York City this week, bringing the total U.S. emergency food assistance contribution to nearly $2.6 billion since February.
According to the Financial Tracking Service, China only gave $3.4 million to the World Food Program in 2021, compared to the United States’ contribution of more than $3.6 billion.
The United Nations said China’s total humanitarian funding in 2021 was just $9.2 million, while the UN tracked that the U.S. provided nearly $11 billion in humanitarian assistance.
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The UN, in 2022, has not cataloged any contributions from China to humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, the State Department said the U.S. is also working in a multilateral effort with G7 partners to target the work of international finance institutions, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to mitigate food security challenges.
“The United States recognizes the critical role so many around the world are currently playing to address food insecurity—from governments to the UN to civil society organizations,” the State Department said. “This current crisis requires a global, collaborative response, and the United States is committed to helping coordinate these efforts.”
Blinken’s ministerial-level meeting brings together a “broad, regionally diverse group of 30-35 countries,” the State Department said, specifically those that have been most affected by food insecurity and are in a position “to take action to strengthen global food resilience and security.”
On Thursday, Blinken is expected to chair the first signature event of the U.S. presidency of the UN Security Council, and will hold an open debate focusing on the “critical links between conflict, food security, and Putin’s war on Ukraine as well as how these issues combine to exacerbate food insecurity.”
The U.S. estimates that as many as 40 million people will be pushed into poverty and food insecurity by the end of the year.
“Shortages of fuel and fertilizer in many countries and accelerating spikes in food prices threaten to destabilize fragile societies, increase hunger and malnutrition, drive migration, and cause severe economic dislocation,” the State Department said. “Conflict has greatly exacerbated food security issues globally.”