“Today, given the urgency of the crisis, we’re announcing another $215 million in new emergency food assistance, and we’ll do much more,” Blinken said at the United Nations during a ministerial meeting on global food security. “We expect our Congress very soon to approve approximately $5.5 billion in additional funding for humanitarian assistance and food security.”
Blinken also said that the US would be committing $500 million to boost US production of fertilizer. The new assistance comes as there is an increased need for fertilizer in countries that typically got it from Russia, which is the world’s largest exporter of fertilizer. The cost of fertilizer, essential for farmers to hit their production targets for crops, has also risen as output in Europe has plunged due to the surging price of natural gas — a key ingredient in nitrogen-based fertilizers like urea.
“The cost of doing business for vital organizations like the World Food Programme, the Food and Agricultural Organization, UNICEF and others, the cost of doing business is going up. We have to help them continue to do their business,” Blinken said.
“In particular as well, countries with significant grain and fertilizer reserves, as well as those with financial resources, need to step up and do it fast. The United States has announced more than $2.3 billion in new funding for emergency food assistance to meet global humanitarian needs since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the secretary added.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden announced an additional $150 million worth of security assistance to Ukraine in the form of “additional artillery munitions, radars, and other equipment.” The new security assistance package follows the President’s $33 billion proposal last month to Congress to support the country.