More nations are pledging to combat global hunger, but the need requires additional action, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said September 20.
“Action is crucial because the current crisis is one that no individual country or even group of countries can solve alone,” Blinken said at a food security summit co-hosted by the U.S. on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. “The work before us is clear.”
Blinken said no matter what countries have done so far, every country is called upon to do more. That includes the United States. The following day, President Biden, in his remarks to the U.N. General Assembly, announced the U.S. will commit an additional $2.9 billion in humanitarian and development assistance to strengthen global food security.
That is on top of the $8.2 billion in humanitarian assistance and $2.9 billion in development aid that the U.S. government has provided since February to address the world food crisis.
Looking forward, Blinken called for action on several fronts:
- Extend the Türkiye and U.N.-brokered deal between Ukraine and Russia. That agreement lifted Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, allowing grain and other agricultural products to reach Africa and other nations in need.
- Help countries produce more of their own food. The United States will work with Congress to invest $11 billion over five years to support agricultural innovation, sustainability and self-sufficiency through programs such as Feed the Future.
- Make food security efforts more transparent. The United States issued a status report September 21 laying out its progress hitting the goals in the Roadmap for Global Food Security, which was created in May. The roadmap’s 103 signatories have promised to take concrete steps to get food to those most in need.
Today’s Food Security Ministerial, co-hosted by the EU, AU, and Spain at #UNGA builds on our sustained efforts to rally greater international attention to and action on global food insecurity. This crisis demands our collective attention and action. pic.twitter.com/4kITXxJW1g
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 21, 2022
At the outset of 2022, the effects of conflicts, COVID-19 and the climate crisis had already driven more than 190 million people into acute food insecurity, the secretary said.
“We have to respond to the emergency, but we also have to set ourselves up for the long term,” Blinken said.
The United States continues to increase assistance while launching new programs to combat hunger, such as the Caribbean Zero Hunger Plan, which was developed with nations in the region.
“The health, the stability, the wellbeing of our people depends on the food security that we build together,” Blinken said.