tv USAID Administrator Samantha Power on Global Food Security CSPAN July 22, 2022 1:45pm-3:10pm EDT
>> the administrator of usaid samantha power talk about global insecurity and hunger at the center for international studies. this power laid out several driving factors including the pandemic, climate change and russia's invasion of ukraine which has affected food and energyprices around the world . >>. >> good morning everyone.
in partnership with the eleanor cook foundation extend a warm welcome to csi s for today's event. the keynote address administrator samantha power on the state of global food security and nutrition. i'm caitlin welch, director of the food security program and today i'm also going to be of the responsible officer for this event so the next. before we begin, to share some information about our building safety precautions overall we feel supported but we must prepare for any eventuality. if we can take a moment to familiarize yourself with our exit pathways for this room which are behind me to the right andalso in the foyer behind you to your right . please follow my instructions for these exits. on one second announcement before we begin. following today's keynote address we will welcome instance from the audience in
person and online for a history of power. if you'd like to ask the question is it the event page . it can be accessed using the qr code on the screen. we do encourage questions and look forward to adopting them fu a short while . without further ado it's my pleasure to introduce the csis trustee to welcome you to today's event. >> on behalf of the center for strategic and international studies board of trustees welcome to those of you in the room and many more of you attending online. we have a terrific meeting before us. our topic is the state of global food security and nutrition. it is an important meeting. first, tie. it is essential for the world to focus on nutrition for our youngest citizens .
waste is far too important to many countries in the world. the prevalence of wasting young children under five with 6.7 percent, 45 million children in 2020, more than double the 2030 target of less than three percent. this challenge hasbeen exacerbated by the brutal war in ukraine . the converging challenges around climate change, drought, food systems with supply chain stocks in pa. conflict and drought are forcing populations of families moving from one village and crowding into another and this number is likely to increase. the second reason is the united states leadership is essential and i would say indispensable to solving this crisis. the current crisis could affect generations of children. in the longer-term global crisis could lead to diet
-related chronic diseases and a decline in e people's capacity to thrive and contribute to their country's economic growth. when coupled with massive debt we are facing a child survival crisis around the world. when i was at unicef we began to make the case that in our world today there is no time to waste. the third reason why this mpmeeting is important is the leaders involved. you will see women leaders before you and director catherine russell and administrator samantha power and their r agencies unicef and usaid have been in the forefront of nutrition for decades. they are strong partners throughout the world along with the eleanor cook foundation we have the chance to change the trajectory of millions of lives. they're issuing a call to action for every one of us today . so may i introduce my friend
the executive director of unicef who has one of the most heartbreaking and rewarding jobs in the world. her first work pakistan and she is developing innovative policies and programs for underserved communities around the world. please join me in welcoming executive director catherine russell. [applause] >> thank you all so much. it's great to be back and of course it's fantastic to follow henrietta. it's becoming a habit for me. i was happy to see her face and hear her voice which was sought such a strong important voice in this world for children so i'm delighted to follow her. i want to thank amanda power, administrator power and her trends tand of course eleanor cook foundation for bringing us here today. and not for a small thing but
for taking urgent action to address the global and growing nutrition crisis. course as henrietta mentioned we are seeing the harshimpact of this crisis and are rapidly increasing number of children under five who suffer from severe wasting . one child has become severely wasted every minute of every day since the beginning of this year. and the 15 hardest hit countries over 8 million children under the age of five may die from severe wasting unless they receive immediate therapeutic care. if you've ever seen a severely wasted child that image will never leave you. i have seen that many times but really most recently from very fragile children in ethiopia and afghanistan and you know, those are as i said things that you'd rather forget but i'm so glad that i saw it and i'm glad others around the world are seeing it as well . those children are among millions suffering from wasting around the world
today. children suffering from severe wasting are too weak and too sick to eat ordinary food. they cannot be eat wheat or soy. to survive they need urgent nutrition.c this situation is truly critical. the conditions that created this crisis and crushing economic impact of the pandemic, or in ukraine and other parts of the world and climate driven drought are putting children at risk every single day. the rising rates of severe malnutrition are serious enough but this is coinciding with sharp decreased rates of immunization againstchildhood diseases in children around the world that is truly a lethal combination for malnourished children . this could quickly become more than a trip nutrition crisis. without rapid action we could be facing a child survival crisis. as head of the g7 leaders summit unicef had $1.2
billion to prevent severe wasting for children in desperate need. the g7 pledged generous support to tackle food crisis but it's still unclear how much of the support will help us reach children with life-saving foods including rtf while there is still time to save their lives. the united states has consistently played a pivotal role in addressing malnutrition and we are incredibly grateful for their leadership in addressing the growing crisis. us support has been instrumental in helping unicef and our partners early prevention, detection and treatment policies and programs. i truly want to thank administrator power for being such a powerful advocate for children at all times and certainly in this crucial time. we need other government to follow through.we need everyone to affirm that children's livesactually matter . for if we don't we will see
decades of progress in child survival slipped through our fingers. none of f us should or can tolerate that. not when we know what to do and we know how to do it. we really don't have a moment to waste. i want to thank you all for your attention here, for caring about this issue and i now like to hand over the podium to our wonderful colleague and supporter will more as the ceo of the eleanor cook foundation. [applause] >> thank you executive director russell. pretty cool to follow not one but two unicef executive directors. i should probably just retire e after this. i don't know ifi can top that . just 10 days ago, i traveled with members of congress to a wasting treatment clinic tin south sudan. that center has seen a
fourfold increase in the number of severely malnourished kids just in the last six months. as ed russell said, if you've ever spent time with a wasted child you know it's s a god-awful thing. severe wasting is a state of multiple organ failure. loss of brain mass, loss of vision. your hair becomes brittle and your skin starts to peel. you lose your appetite. you become exhausted. eventually unable to move. although i've made many visits to clinics like this over the years it still takes everything i've got tokeep it together . you smile to the children who have recovered enough to move co their heads and make eye contact . you nod to the mother's whose eyes speak of struggle you can't imagine. you ask a nurse some
questions. how old is this child here who looks like he couldn't be older than eight months and she tells you he just turned to . when we left the clinic as we boarded the un cargo plane back to our lives and places where nedeath from wasting is ancient history, one in our group said i don't understand how there could be a god on this earth with suffering like that. right now tens of millions of children are suffering from wasting. but this stuff, this packet offers hope. rucf, is a relatively complicated name for what it is. well, peanuts, a blend of nutrients, that's it these simple ingredients combine to offer a potential revolution in child survival.. before rucf was invented
families were forced to travel hundreds of miles to regional feeding centers where there was very littleto be done . mortality rates in these centers were oftenupwards of 90 percent . rutf changed all of that. it can take all the nutrients that the child's body needsto recover . it's portable , long-lasting. it seemed resistant and it can be administered to children in their own homes. and it's highly effective . at that treatment clinic in unity state up to hundreds of local wasted children who have comein since the start of thisyear , just one have died . in life there are no silver bullets. but when it comes to stopping kids from dying from wasting , rutf is as close as one comes but we haven't invested. up to 50 million wasted
children in the world less than one in four currently receive treatment. millions died. severe malnutrition is estimated to cost the childto die 11 seconds . and those who survive face lasting damage to their health and their bodies and brains. today, we will hear from administrator power on the truly historic steps usaid is taking to speed up wasting. the next transformational year in the history of wasting treatment ever since rutf was invented in 1996. i'm also proud the eleanor cook foundation is made to represent all including philanthropist chris holmes, cri foundation, the elderly foundation for investing in this historic initiative alongside usaid. there are many problems in
this world will take decades to solve sustainably. ending child death from wasting is not one of them. it's something we can do now. now my honor to introduce this mariama diallo. she joined in 2011 where she now serves as the acting director of the bureau for humanitariantaassistance . over to you. [applause] >> thank you. it's an honor for me to be part of this event. distinguished guests, good morning. my name is mariama diallo and i'm working at the usaid initiative.
a region of the world and the combined impacts of the climate crisis , pandemic and increasing states and the global food and nutrition crisis created by russia's war on ukraine is making this crisis worse. however we nigerians are resilient and every day through my work i see inspiring stories. letme share with you some of the numbers . last year agricultural production dropped by 39 percent and only 40 percent of the food. the people who are hit the hardest when there's not enough food are women and children. our latest data show is over 12 percent of young children are suffering from active malnutrition that translates into 1.4 million young children who need treatment. so those children who survive from acute malnutrition are
damaged because their immune system is compromised. 43 percent of children are stunted meaning they are not meeting their food needs. i'm also here today to give hope. i have been working with usaid in niger and i had the opportunity to visit and talk with families participating in our programs. the niger i grew up in was a land of peace. sadly for the last decade we have been hit by insurgencies . families displace depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival and to maintain their dignity. but our work can also transform and help
participants to achieve their dreams. let me tell you about how a young woman whose father ran a plant nursery as she dreamed of running her own nursery. she would train an apprenticeship and establish her own. and since she started she has produced and sold 5000 seedlings of nutritious plants rinvest in her business and also save money for household expenses. >> ..
brought back from the brink of death, giving a letter. what usaid and partners give me great hope because more families will be able to see their children survive in niger but also elsewhere in the world. it's great pleasure that i hand over to our agency administrator samantha power. thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much, and a huge thanks to mariama diallo for her wonderful introduction
and bringing it home from niger. anything about usaid, you know our local staff, more than two thirds of our overseas presence, they bring their contacts, technical expertise, we are so lucky usaid. mariama diallo oversees the lifesaving humanitarian assistance, far too many hungry people in niger depend on. thank you for your 11 years of service at usaid, all the service for other organizations before hand, thanks for being here. she's a fellow at usaid headquarters. we are lucky.
thank you to csis for hosting us today, for their continuous leadership on strengthening systems and nutrition. to caitlin welsh who i look forward to speaking with later, to my friend henrietta holsman fore who is committed to caring for individuals in need, the stuff of legend, and her pioneering legacy across decades of public service is unmatched. as the first women administrator at usaid she paved the way, left incredibly big shoes to fill, something kathy russell can relate to uniquely. to you, we in the biden administration miss you more than words can convey but we also know how blessed those
children are to have you in their corner as the champion. thank you for the partnership and friendship, finally, thanks to the eleanor crooke foundation for cohosting this event, the eleanor crooke foundation, the very first employee dedicated itself to combating global hunger, the foundation has fraught for the malnourished when the world's attention was elsewhere. they fought during the last global food price spike in 2008. they have fought with friends on both sides of the aisle during republican and democratic administrations because they believe what eleanor herself believes that in her words, our elected officials should all share a worldview of justice, a
worldview where no one is hungry. that world, once seemed so very near. in 10 years from 2005 to 2015, and fell by 30% from 805 million, and down substantially, 590 million people. think about what no longer going to bed hungry meant for the individuals involved. the un two weeks ago shed light on how much ground was lost. today as many as 828 million people, a decade of progress obliterated with 238 million
people, 150 million become hungry in the past two years since the outbreak of covid 19. we are confronting something more devastating. not only are tens of millions of people facing that grave hunger, many are at risk of outright salvation - starvation. the richter scale, measuring earthquakes, to measure severe hunger as many of you know the world devised a new scale. in 2004, the integrated food security phase classification, phase one, a community is food secure. more than 80% of households can meet their basic food needs. at stage 2 they are borderline, households are skipping meals or liquidating what little they have to feed their families,
malnutrition spikes. phase 3 is crisis. hunger prevails so intensely that lives and livelihoods are at risk. at this stage, the humanitarian relief organizations kick into overdrive, the kind of assistance for most is the difference quite simply between life and death. that is where we find ourselves today, staring down a global food crisis. in 2021, a record 193 million people in 53 countries across africa, the middle east, asia, latin america, face at least this third crisis phase of hunger. that number reflected many things. job and income losses, supply chain disruptions from covid
19, climate shocks, long simmering conflicts. governments restricting humanitarian access, but it didn't account for the latest accelerant of human misery, vladimir putin's unconscionable assault on ukraine. we know that last year's number of people in food crisis could grow now by as many as 40 million people. vladimir putin's war has driven millions of ukrainians lives of relative prosperity to destitution and dependence on humanitarian aid. 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 so things are going to get worse. the next phase of severe
hunger, phase 4 is what we call emergency. people, children especially facing severe malnutrition, their bodies beginning to consume themselves on what little stores of energy they have left. many grown so weak that they are unable to eat food that is put in front of them and after that, the final phase we call catastrophe. a phase in which families eat less than half the food they need to survive. they have exhausted all means to cope with hunger, and they face the deadliest form of malnutrition, a condition called wasting. there is a word for when catastrophic hunger is widespread. and that word is famine.
the russian scholar who survived a famine in the early 1920s following the revolution, the starvation he witnessed was so severe he wrote it reduced day man to a naked animal upon the naked earth. un secretary-general, multiple famines may be declared in 2023, maybe even worse. the question before the world, but causes so many of you to do the work you do every day, the question for the world is simple. today we are in a global food crisis. what can we do together to alert global food catastrophe. to start, we have to understand what led us to the current
precipice, the most substantial is climate change. the brutal heat waves we are seeing in texas, the wildfires tearing through europe, the parts of the united kingdom receiving red alert heat warnings for the first time in their history. the biggest threat climate change poses to the world's hungry center sudden shock. it is a long, sustained onslaught. droughts that don't just last for a season, but for years, extreme temperatures, rainfall patterns have affected the crops of bread baskets like the united states, india, brazil, and china, in profound ways but nowhere is the pain of drought
felt more acutely than in somalia, kenya, and ethiopia, countries that are part of a region known as the horn of africa. the horn region has two rainy seasons per year. these are the times farmers so their seeds on new pasture. and when they are recorded these things, on 7 separate occasions, this region the horn has experienced three drought seasons in a row. not once before has the region experienced four consecutive failed rainy seasons until right now. our best forecasts tell us the next rainy season which begins in october will bring poor
rains as well. one record shattered immediately after another and this is all coming on the heels of the covid 19 pandemic which has deepened economic downturns in countries decimated, national finances, ballooned public debt and weakened currencies, with fuel and fertilizer meaning as we know, spiraling prices. there's a saying in the horn, the animals die first. today, pasture lands are turning to dust. little scenes, farm animals are dying of disease. to date at least 7 millions livestock have died in ethiopia, kenya, and somalia. there isn't enough water to quench their thirst or enough grass to feed them. we know that children, those
least equipped to deal with lack of food are beginning to suffer. at least 1103 children have died in these countries without a massive infusion of resources from around the world, unicef has predicted an explosion of child deaths. in february, weaker harvests and covid 19 induced swings in demand, led to a new record high in the global food price index. at that point prices were 40% higher than they were before the pandemic began. then flatter putin decided to invade ukraine and foothold food hostage, breaking the global food price index record yet again. since the war began the russian military has destroyed
ukrainian farmland, bombed agricultural storage and processing facilities and blockading ukraine's black seaports leaving 20 million tons of corn and wheat locked in silos and shipyards. trillions of calories are literally sitting in storage while people go without food. storage facilities still full, this europe summer harvest, 50 million tons of grain sold to courageous ukrainian farmers wielding mining equipment, those tons of grain have nowhere to be stockpiled. ukraine and the european union have hustled to enable the export from trap grain and working side-by-side with them, 2 million tons a month getting
through a patchwork, a lot of ingenuity. when putin's fleet maintains its blockade the united nations and turkey have been working for weeks to secure diplomatic agreements to reopen the black sea ports and let the food go. us just as sinister as putin's stranglehold, the less noticed bands on the export of russian fertilizers. the largest exporter of fertilizer, to restrict the supply to global markets. a near tripling of fertilizer prices over the last year with higher fertilizer prices, farmers can only afford to buy less fertilizer meaning they
plant less, smaller harvests and smaller future incomes. it is the worst possible time. the predicted shortfall in their harvest of 20%, worth $11 billion. putin will tell you western sanctions are to blame. and carveouts for russian fertilizer and food but the truth nether deters putin from espousing its opposite. in the nobel prize speech, anyone, who proclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as its principal. today, faced with what may be
the most alarming food crisis of our lifetimes the united states and our allies, in different principal. when putin bonds grain silos and we are working to bring ukrainian grain and oil to market. the ukrainian minister of agriculture and i will have more to say on this tomorrow. we know these efforts will not be enough to avert a catastrophe. to do that we must battle together on three fronts providing immediate humanitarian aid to the severely hungry and malnourished, providing sustained investment, global aquaculture that will help farmers boost harvests and undertaking concerted diplomacy so we mobilize more resources
from donors and export restrictions to exacerbate the crisis and lessen the burden on poor countries. investment and diplomacy. 3 areas where the united states is leading where others must urgently step up. let's start with humanitarian aid the united states is providing those in the most dire conditions, the bill emerson humanitarian trust is an emergency reserve shared by usaid and the us department of agriculture designed to be used when extorting a food needs arise in the world. after putin began his war for the first time ever, we drew down this trust fund entirely, all $282 million of it to purchase american food aid and to send that food aid to countries facing food
insecurity including many in the horn of africa and yemen. president biden and our allies announced contributions of 4. $5 million to address global food security with half the commitments coming from the united states. today, i am announcing a surge of $1.2 trillion in funding that will be dispatched to meet the immediate needs faced by the people of somalia, kenya, and ethiopia on top of the $507 million we have given to the horn response. later this week i will travel to the region to speak up close to better help those weathering this historic crisis. some of this assistance will take the form of food aid. something like split peas and cooking oil that sustain those who lack access to food but as
the global community long realized, under cannot be fought with food alone. even in very difficult situations, markets that sell food still function. immediate cash assistance can be faster, but boosting, with all the support they can get. some have social safety nets, with mobile phones. get cash in people's hands.o in food crises, more people die from disease and hunger. they become so weak from lack of food that their immune systems can't fight off diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, cholera, measles so as part of our assistants,
mobile health and nutrition teams will rapidly expand access and treat the severely ill and also provide clean water and sanitation to stop deadly waterborne diseases that are more likely to spread when sources of freshwater dry up has in droughts like the one we are confronting. we also know that when food is scarce, women and girls are going to be hit the hardest. they will be the first to go hungry and often the last able to access assistance. many are at risk for sexual violence as they search for food and water for their families. many already have been subjected to such violence. that's why our assistance includes child protection and family reunification services, training for healthcare workers, counseling, and medical support to survivors of sexual violence.
perhaps the most immediate lifesaving humanitarian aid we can provide is assistance to severely malnourished children. in my hand and in all your seats today is something called -- middle upper arm circumference. when a child is malnourished and they appear ill, we measure the severity of their condition by placing this band around their arm. at a certain point, the range marked in red, we know that the child is malnourished. it is so thin that it measures just 11.5 cm in circumference. this is the size of the face of a man's wristwatch.
as kathy mentioned, visiting a clinic, the treats severely malnourished children, and experience that stays with you. one can barely hold it together. it is to see children on the edge of death, many barely breathing, too week even to eat or drink. and some beds the children have already succumbed, their bodies covered only in shrouds. voices in these places rarely rise above a whisper, children are not strong enough, parents struggle to overcome their horror and grief. it is to visit a nursery filled with silent screams, but as others have mentioned, we have a solution so that these children might avoid ever having to enter such a clinic. the solution is a packet of highly enriched paste that can
reduce child waste within weeks. with three packets of so-called ready to use therapeutic food a day for roughly six weeks the vast majority of severely malnourished children, some 90% are able to recover as opposed to 90% who now parish. despite the power of this incredible tool in the fight against child wasting it is drastically underutilized. most parents who are able to bring their children to clinics to seek treatments are met with lack of supply, today, together we are addressing that. the united states will provide $200 million to unicef to maximize procurement of rtf and distribute them to areas that most need them including countries in the horn of africa.
with this commitment we will help get this lifesaving care into the mouths of 2. 4 million children. the largest leap in coverage, and the most significant commitment made to treat severely malnourished children, there is still more that can be done and there are others who can chip in to help. i am pleased to share that several private partners in the eleanor cook foundation, the cri foundation, the elmo relief foundation and philanthropist chris holmes joining us to contribute an additional $50 million toward this effort. ♪♪ [applause] >> given the between global need and public-sector resources we are working
tirelessly at usaid to leverage each of the investments we make in this manner to mobilize more from foundations, high net worth individuals, bilateral donors, partner governments and other stakeholders. we at usaid need to see progress behind what our own programs can deliver. when it comes to leveraging investments we are not done, nor is the eleanor cook foundation. between now and september when the world gathers for the un general assembly we together working with unicef are going to leverage the shared investment we are making today to raise $250 million. this is the target we are sitting here today. no child should die from malnutrition when we have the tools to stop it.
reaching that goal will require others to step up. this is one of the best investment, one of the best bargains the we have in our toolkit for dealing with hunger and for dealing with the need for more nutrition and ultimately development. those are the vital steps we are taking to provide this immediate relief to the severely malnourished but to prevent not just this catastrophe but those yet to come we have to go beyond emergency assistance and make substantial investments in agricultural productivity, this is the second front in our response. this is a hard one. for decades, the world turned to humanitarian aid as its main weapon in the fight against
hunger, such aid went from constituting relatively marginal share of total to violent assistance, less than 1% of total foreign aid in 1972 more than 20% today. as global support for lifesaving american aid which is so important, global support for that increased, investments in long-term agricultural productivity the kind needed to turn from food countries to poor exporters to importers dried up. it dropped from an average $20 billion in the 1980s to less than $5 billion in 2006. a major drop. the problem with this trend, doesn't generally leave countries, communities, farmers better able to weather the next harvest.
during the last global food price spike, the urgents had crowded out the importance president obama launched an ambitious food security initiative to feed the future. with real agricultural potential, the chance to become agricultural powers not just to manage the next food emergency but preventing it. each year the united states investing to billion dollars toward the same in strengthening food security beyond humanitarian assistance. much of this goes into investments that are decidedly long-term. research to develop new seeds that will allow farmers to grow nutritious foods even in the midst of the highest temperatures and longest droughts ever faced by modern agriculture. private-sector partnerships that create new markets and demand for the crops's moral
holder farmers sold only locally. all these measures can add up. the future is active, we see stronger food assistance, better nutrition, more resilience to shop and because agricultural develop into is the most effective way to raise incomes, 23 million people have been lifted out of poverty, countries like ethiopia, ghana and bangladesh the prioritize investments in agricultural productivity, accelerated reduction in poverty and malnutrition putting them in better position to deal with today's crisis. it turns out also many of the steps designed to boost agricultural productivity over time can prove critical right now. recognizing this, president biden and our allies in congress approve $760 million to expand and scale
agricultural programs to combat the effects of high food, high fuel and high fertilizer prices. it was spent in kenya, ethiopia, and somalia. a key part of this effort will be expanding, financing and distribution to get higher quality seeds, that can withstand drought, extreme heat and floods into the hands of farmers who currently can't afford those seeds or can't find a way to access them. this year alone we are expanding the coverage of drought tolerant maze from 13 million acres in southern africa, to 17 million acres. that is in addition, the equivalent to all the farmland in rwanda. we are using new technologies to help poor farmers waste less fertilizer.
in ethiopia we use satellite mapping to help farmers fine-tune their fertilizer applications. the results, fertilizer waste, dropped by 40% to 80% while it grew by 200%. we are now working to spread this kind of precision agriculture approach throughout the continent starting with niger, ghana, tanzania, malawi and zambia. we are also working with fertilizer companies to increase distribution in africa. i am pleased to announce one of the world's largest fertilizer companies offered to provide $20 million of free fertilizer that usaid will help distribute, enough to support one hundred thousand farmers and we need other fertilizer companies benefiting from high prices to join them. we are helping tackle 25% to
30% of global food production that is lost or goes to waste. one of the most important steps we can take to boost available food and lower agricultural emissions. in nigeria, 40% of the country's food production is lost and we partnered with local business that installed solar powered walk in cold storage rooms giving farmers space to store their produce and prevent spoilage. in ghana we partnered with the same company that pioneered the first long-lasting insecticide treated bed to create airtight grain storage bags that prevent pests and mold from spoiling harvests. recognizing the significance of the benefits of sustained investment in long-term agricultural productivity, last
month president biden announced we would expand feed the future's reach to twee 8, 20 target countries in total. here we are, aid. [applause] >> thanks to president biden. this longer-term investment that can pay returns right now. these are critical tools in the fight against global hunger. they will not succeed without collective action unless countries around the world, especially those who have the means to do their part. secretary blinken and ambassador thomas greenfield are hard at work in concerted diplomacy to rally other governments. in may, at the united nations, the united states introduced a roadmap for global food security which called on un member states to contribute to
humanitarian organizations, to keep their food and agricultural markets open and avoid export bans on food and fertilizer. the domestic fertilizer production to share market data and increase investments in long-term agricultural productivity. that was the roadmap. already more than 100 countries have signed on to this roadmap but we need additional signatories to join the world at the table. one country in particular stands out for its absence, the people's republic of china. even before the war in ukraine began, beijing's trade restriction on fertilizer and hoarding of grain was inflating prices. at the same time the government offers little of the transparency into its stocks and production that might have soothed markets. signing on to the roadmap,
removing export restriction in its fertilizer exports and releasing some grain reserves either to the global market or humanitarian entities like the world food program significantly relieve pressure on food and fertilizer prices and powerfully demonstrate the country's desire to be a global leader and friend to the world's least developed economies. in 2017, the last time the horn of africa faced a severe drought the prc donated $34 million to the world food program's response. thus far in 2022 they have contributed $3 million to wf p and that is for global response. the united states has provided $3.9 billion to wf p so far this fiscal year. the united states has long been the leader in responding to
humanitarian crises and we are proud of that leadership and grateful to congress and the american people for their compassion and generosity but the world has always benefited from the generosity of other nations. the speedy mobilization of resources by donors that help avert a famine. in 2017. unfortunately today, the needs are greatest, either stagnating or being cut. some countries are rewriting the rules on what counts as development spending to shield themselves from criticism. some countries stepped up before have provided only 8% of what they contributed five years ago to the humanitarian response in the horn and with our announcement today, we are
covering 86% of the world food program's current funding appeal to the horn of africa. to be clear, many of the countries funding to meet food insecurity has dropped off have generously opened their doors to ukrainian refugees and supply direct support to ukraine in its hour of desperate need while dealing with the same economic blows and inflationary pressures that we are here at home. no one can question their spirit of sacrifice but these are extraordinary times and they do call for extraordinary measures. the generosity marshaled toward the people of ukraine must be directed to the less visible victims of putin's war, those bearing the brunt of the cascading effects of his terror. we have twice worked with
congress to obtain emergency funding over and above our preexisting approved budgets to support both ukrainians and those hit hardest by the global food crisis. we need them to look beyond their approved budgets to address the current gaps in assistance especially those countries who might have more space to do so given the returns that they are receiving from high commodity prices. regardless of a country's ability to make additional financial contributions. it is also critical that all nations stop issuing new export restrictions on food, fertilizer, reverse existing ones on agricultural commodities. since the invasion of ukraine began, 24 countries have introduced such bands restricting roughly 16% of all
total calories traded in the world, these policies have blown back on the countries that imposed them. when export food bands going to place local prices, the man imposing countries collapse punishing poor farmers who now earn less from their harvest and have less incentive to plant more. poverty grows in food exporting countries and more people go hungry in importing countries, the ultimate lose lose. an extremely encouraging recent development indonesia has lifted its short-lived export restrictions on palm oil, we encourage other nations to make similar move. and it has been unwilling to criticize the russian government's belligerence,
countries sat out this war's out the global food crisis. crucially we must move urgently without other bilateral predators to provide debt relief for countries on a scale beyond what we see before. 60% of low income countries are facing or experiencing debt distress, the public financing wiped away by responses to the pandemic. if we are to give these countries the fiscal space they need to respond to mounting challenges and prevent broader economic and political collapse we need relevant creditors including china to provide debt relief and restructuring in support of a program from the imf. there is so much at stake. there is a long history of evidence tying rising food prices to global instability
and we've seen protests against high food prices in 17 countries across every continent. last week, unrest fueled by an awful mix of corruption and inflation led the president of sri lanka to resign. if history is any guide we know it won't be the last government to fall yet even though the food crisis is global in scale there are steps the rest of us can take. we have seen the generosity of private companies and individuals, we have seen them marshaled billions of dollars in resources and response to past emergencies, diplomacy can't just occur in foreign capitals. we have to make the case to every citizen that they have a stake in mitigating this crisis, and saving lives as well. we have to make it easier for
everyone to support efforts to tackle the current emergency and in that spirit, we have partnered with go fund me to launch today the global food fund, an online donation platform for anyone who is able to contribute to the cause. the money that this fund raises will go directly to nonprofit organizations providing humanitarian relief on the ground where hunger and now nutrition are at their worst. it is accepting donations at go fund me.org. aids, investments, diplomacy. if we don't pursue action on all three fronts, catastrophe awaits those least able to confront it. the united states has led from
country bidding efforts to emergency assistance to doubling down on agricultural investments that will stave off the next food crisis to using both international and public diplomacy to marshal a truly global response. now we need others to do more before famine strikes, before millions more children find themselves on the knife's edge. we call that saying the animals die first. of the world does not do more, if we do not rally together we all know what will come next, thank you so much. [applause]
>> hello, thank you, and honor to host you on stage. since the war broke out in ukraine, russia's war of aggression you visited poland, moldova, the lower way, and zambia. what did you find on behalf of usaid? >> thank you so much for having us here and hosting this and all the work you are doing. i saw the incredible generosity i mentioned in the speech up close, moldova struggling with energy, energy crisis, very high spiraling food, diesel prices, and took the highest
per capita, and frontline states with vulnerability it was facing and every house opening up its doors, asking what you need, how can i help and even though some of that initial wave has receded, things become more complicated over time sustaining that support for ukrainian families coming across, that was a moving feature of the response, refugees anywhere, to go home, but many looking for conditions to exist, or have temporary housing or means of getting through the winter as we start to face winter conditions.
the european union shifting attention to supporting initiatives inside ukraine. to humanize it a little bit, met with a group of female small-scale farmers incrementally every year, producing much, working with us and others, going into the stand or the store. is 3 times the cost of what was a year ago, generally double. if that is the margin, the
extra profit in additional inputs and plant more but hadn't counted on this. we have many problems on february 23rd, with increased fertilizer prices, the fertilizer we described in the price of natural gas going up but the spike since february 24th is something we hadn't anticipated. it is sophie's choice, do i plant half as much? if i plant half as much, what income will i obtain, but these
are people just making it about poverty and profits and it is foundational to the next generation. if food prices are up, we signed our contract with the middleman. these are the things usaid is thinking, how can we implement that? what is the worst of all worlds where what they get is fixed, what they have to pay is increasing daily, weekly, monthly so this is what they are doing domestically to increase domestic fertilizer production. there is some evidence that wheat prices may coming down as
more wheat is brought online. and make sure people have access to market information. every lag there might be between a change in price somewhere else or changing market price and change in what happened at the most local of local markets is going to be eating into the modest margins people are living under. >> you said putin is waging a war on the world's poor. we don't have much time for questions from the audience, two excellent questions, one about localization and one about climate change. someone in the audience asking a question on localization efforts. and we can get you are mike. >> sarah higgins. you talk a little bit about go
fund me. talk a little bit more how that will involve local ngos and the response and building capacity. >> the precise -- that will benefit, to find on the page. we at usaid are careful in an initiative, too have only in one direction, a number of organizations can scale, and absorbed capacity, and charles who is in charge of our
humanitarian assistance, bureau of humanitarian assistance at usaid is we have basically tried to put the call out to local organizations. it is fair to say humanitarian effort, weren't working so much compared to the big actors. what that entailed is long-standing development programming experts. if you see partners that have proven their ability of moving resources into communities. that is something that is underway. in addition we worked with mercy corps to set up a consortium for ngos, hopeful
about steering local organizations so they -- $100 million arrangement with mercy corps we think will be dispersed and the un has its own humanitarian fund to which local organizations will apply and use our leverage as major donor to that fund to get them to partner in ukraine. on the food security side, slightly more of a tradition but not enough. the democracy space and global health progress has been made moving toward local partners, food security is an area seeking to do more and that includes bringing more people in usaid who can sit down with local organizations and help them build capacity to obtain access to grants. >> we have a question about
climate change from duke university student in person. go ahead, thanks. >> thank you for being here. my question about usaid responding to the crises we spoke about, harnessing the future and what opportunities might exist to work at the new aim for climate initiative to bring innovation and technology. >> thank you. i think -- it feels like the supplemental, the second supplemental past a long time ago. for people who are hungry it must feel like a long time ago, we are in the process of moving that money into the field and getting a lot of engagements with congress about the countries and breakdowns.
all i can tell you at this point about the synergies is it is first of all, all of usaid is funded, there's not one aspect of the program, the bureau for humanitarian affairs is doing or our climate environmental specialists are doing or diversity people, conflict prevention, stabilization people, every aspect of global health, so many crazies anticipated along the lines of what we as a plan are going through by virtue of changing climate and so forth. the climate agenda is permeating not only all bureaus but all programmatic decisions and that's the direction we are moving in as an agency.
specifically the synergy between food security and resilience teams and climate environment teams, that could not be a more inexorable connection. much of the thinking about the resources can be out located in a sense combined thinking. if you look at the future, new target countries, you will see the notre dame climate index is one of the indicators used to choose, a lot of competition for countries that would benefit potentially from the additional focus, the future target company brings about and we are seeing the selection of whether other countries see the future of target countries and integration of climate need around with other questions that is very will among
political leaders absorbed to capacity and do we see real potential for small-scale farmers or the agricultural sector in general to make a move in a direction that would allow them to become exporters or more commercial farmers. in terms of how the food security resources are located and whether there is overlap i don't have that programmatic information. ..at a structural level all of this decision-making is becoming integrated at usaid and that is long overdue. caitlin: thank you. one final question and that i would welcome some final remarks. online we received a number of questions about what our audience can do to support these efforts, questions from students in washington, we have a
comprehensive effort you've announced today >> thank you. i think because there has been so much pain over such a period of time with covid. economic pain, the devastation of the health effects and all the losses that have occurred in the us and all around the world , and because we are sadly used reading about heat waves and wildfires and droughts, i think the kind of perfect storm moment that we are in when it comes to this food crisis has not struck everyone the same time or has not yet ... i mean, that's one of the reasons we came here today.
i just wanted to jump up and down although i didn't jump up and down. this is an effort to jump up and down and that's what you saw congress to with particularly the second supplemental. to make an additional .4 $.3 million available in humanitarian assistance, $760 million available in food security assistance but even as you did that, i think you would findpublic awareness on campuses, in churches, in mosques andsynagogues, in schools . you know , not yet for example as might have been back in the days of the ethiopian famine and certainly not come in separate to awareness about what putin was doing in ukraine. so i really think there is a public awareness dimension to this. those of you who were students especially, there will be more and more people traveling whether as
humanitarians or members of congress for members of our administration or even you know, not even but just looking back as a good example of somebody who could come and speak, show photos , kathy and i both will be doing much more travel of that nature. it's our job to bring media with us if we can wherever we go. because these are countries that traditionally get enough coverage. you might have one reporter for eight in the 90s when it many of them work for in bureau and so forth but that presence by even large media organizations has really been getting down but even with strangers and freelancers to lift up the human stories. not only in the way that will did so powerfully here today and i'm traveling to boerne later this week and hope to
do the same but also the stories of impact. that's what the rets story campaign is so important. i don't have a long background in this area and it was when i first heard from will in meeting not long after i got into the job when he described the power of this simple pack of food and even how expensive it was and how many lives you could save . it was even just on the zoom, why are we doing more of that ? that was before the food crisis to cold. that's an example of one person telling a story both of need and of remedy that impacted one individual that now has these ripple effects and these are the things you can do if we make it easier for you to be able to raise even modest sums of money . if we can all chip in again are going to account for alot of lives saved . i think i would not underrate
the power of that awareness raising and then of course it is. unlike conflict per se where you get all the money in the world and if putin doesn't want to stop bombing civilians money alone can't give you the outcomeyou seek . in the area of averting catastrophe resources really matter. they are just on their own life-saving and so i think that can be motivation for us but also i think we again need to provide pathways or you all to contribute back . and when we started to do today and i think i know it's something for frontline organizations all unicef do every day. they're incredibly effective at telling the human story and people just want to know in tough economic times that the scarce resources that they have to they're prepared to part with or the sake of vulnerable people there are going to be put to good use
and so we need to tell the stories work effectively and sometimes we do thank you so much, administrator power to everybody, really appreciate it. [applause] >> thank you so much. i'd like to thank also be a narcotic foundation for partnering with us at today's event. to usaid for your support, unicef the lead agency only thing responsible for all progress on this issue the last 20 years. all csi agencies and our audience for joining us. this concludes our event .
security, bep and others reporting a deal has been brokered between ukraine and russia to allow for the export of ukrainian green using black seaports. the ap writes russia and ukraine signed separate agreements friday with turkey and the united nations clearing the way for exporting millions of tons of desperately needed ukrainian grain as well as russian you grain and fertilizer in the wartime standoff that threatened food security around the globe. the deal will enable ukraine one of the world's key breadbasket to export any 2 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in black seaports due to the russian invasion . >> saturday, january 6 committee member jamie raskin and former federal judge michael london joined the discussion on the events surrounding the us capital attack. posted by the virginia bar association watch live at 10:40 5 am eastern on c-span. c-span now, our free mobile app or online at c-span.org.
>> c-span brings you an unfiltered view of government . our newsletter word for word recaps the day for you from the halls of congress to daily press briefings to remarks from the president. scan the qr code at the right bottom to sign up for this email and stay up-to-date on everythinghappening in washington each day . subscribe today using the qr code or visit c-span.org/connect to subscribe anytime. >> the impact of tax incentives on affordable housing was the subject of a hearing before the senate finance committee. members talked about the housing supply shortage as well as the rise in rents and home prices. they also addressed concerns over private equity firms and real estate companies buying properties in low income communities whichcould push out long-term residents . >>