US slams China's 'absence' amid global food crisis

Washington [US], July 20 (ANI): The United States aid chief has criticized China for not doing enough in a food crisis amid the Ukraine war that has led to a surge in global food prices and threatened global food security.

Samantha Power, the head of the US Agency for International Development, on Tuesday, delivered an address on the growing global food security crisis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

In her speech titled “The Line Between Crisis and Catastrophe,” Power said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the food crisis in the Horn of Africa, and that nation must increase their efforts to avert a famine there.

“Putin’s war has already driven millions of Ukrainians from lives of relative prosperity to destitution and dependence on humanitarian aid. But through his actions, he is also waging a war on the world’s poor, spiking food, fertilizer, and fuel prices while taking Ukrainian grain off the market,” she said.

Power laid out the severity of the current food crisis, particularly in the Horn of Africa, outlined steps the United States is taking to address global hunger and malnutrition and emphasized the urgent need for additional action to prevent the crisis from getting much worse.

Power detailed three fronts on which the global food crisis must be fought to avert a catastrophe and announced that USAID will provide a nearly USD 1.3 billion surge of humanitarian and development assistance to the Horn of Africa.

“We must battle together on three fronts, providing immediate humanitarian aid to the severely hungry and malnourished, providing sustained investment in global agriculture that will help farmers boost their harvests, and undertaking concerted diplomacy so that we mobilize more resources from donors, avoid export restrictions that can exacerbate the crisis, and lessen the burden on poor countries.”Slamming China, the US aid chief said that the second largest economy “in particular stands out for its absence” in humanitarian efforts in East Africa.

According to power, if China exported more food and fertilizer to the global market or to the World Food Program, it would “significantly relieve pressure on food and fertilizer prices and powerfully demonstrate the country’s desire to be a global leader and a friend to the world’s least developed economies.””One country in particular stands out right now for its absence: the People’s Republic of China. Even before the war in Ukraine began, Beijing’s trade restrictions on fertilizer and hoarding of grain was inflating prices. While at the same time, the government offered little of the transparency into its stocks and production that might have soothed markets,” she said in her speech. (ANI)

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