U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Friday announced a $150 million package for Africa to help address food and humanitarian crises.
Speaking before a gathering of over 500 participants at the University of Ghana in Accra, Thomas-Greenfield said the world is facing unprecedented food crises, requiring what she termed an "unprecedented global response."
"For our part, the United States is committed to this work. … But more funding is needed to address food security and to address crises that compound food security, like refugees and internally displaced people," she said. "I am proud to announce nearly $150 million in new, additional humanitarian funding and development assistance, pending Congressional approval, for Africa."
She said the new package, if approved by Congress, will increase U.S. humanitarian assistance to Africa to $6.6 billion since the beginning of this year.
The ambassador says worldwide food prices are 23% higher than a year ago, partly a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine – the two countries combined provide over 40% of Africa's wheat supply.
Thomas-Greenfield said the new U.S. funding will expand investments in fertilizer, grains and other crops in Africa to meet "the goal of increasing resilience to future shocks."
It includes $2.5 million in new development assistance for Ghana and $20 million for Uganda, where Thomas-Greenfield stopped before visiting the West African country.
She said the new funding includes more than $127 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Africa to provide "lifesaving support to refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons and persecuted people across Africa."
Condemning the war in Ukraine, she said the U.N. Security Council must be proactive to prevent food from being used as a weapon of war.
"The world needs to see how food insecurity increases the risk of conflict. And the Security Council needs to do a better job of stopping food from being used as a weapon of war," she said.
Thomas-Greenfield said Africa has the potential to become its own breadbasket and must take advantage of the current situation to forge partnerships with civil society and the private sector to build the food systems and structures of the future.