Food Crisis: U.S Gives Nigeria N23.7bn Emergency Funds

***As Russia Blames West for ‘So-Called Food Crisis’

Tayo Olanipekun

The U.S. will invest N23.7bn in food security relief for Nigerians in the face of soaring food and commodity prices in Africa’s largest economy.

Subject to the U.S. Congress approval, the $55m aid is expected to help immediately address the economic, food and nutrition needs of vulnerable communities in Nigeria impacted by higher food, fuel, and fertilizer prices.

This is part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent pledge at the G-7 Leader’s Summit in Germany to protect the most vulnerable nations from an escalating global food crisis, according to a statement on Wednesday by the U.S Mission to Nigeria.

The gesture is coming on the heels of  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he dismissed the “so-called food crisis” and blamed the U.S and European countries of driving up prices.

Lavrov, addressing Diplomats, accused the West of fueling food shortages by pursuing “reckless” green policies and even hoarding food during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Common staples such as bread, rice, eggs, milk and several household and commercial items have had their prices witness astronomical increases in the country in recent months.

The fund brings America’s total investment internationally in combating the global food security crisis since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to over $5.6 billion.

The money will be administered through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under its agriculture, nutrition, and humanitarian assistance programs.

U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, reaffirmed the commitment of the United States and the American people to improving the economic well-being and food security of all Nigerians.

She said: “The United States is committed to mitigating the adverse effect of the current global food crisis on the people of Nigeria.  We strongly support Nigeria’s economic prosperity and well-being, and our decades-long partnership with the Nigerian government, the private sector, and NGO community to address the country’s most urgent development and humanitarian needs.

“We empathize with the hardships and suffering of Nigerian citizens that have been exacerbated as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its negative impact on food security, and we fully expect President Biden’s initiative will significantly soften the blow of these war-related international price shocks.”

Post Author: Tayo Olanipekun