tv USAID Administrator Samantha Power on Global Food Security CSPAN July 18, 2022 10:43am-12:01pm EDT
committee ultimately issues as its final verdict, whether it is in a written report or the extent to which the record of these hearings stands for itself , what the justice department decides to do with the information that has been turned over or will be turned over and the interviews which have all been conduct, some in these live hearings, some in the taped as to we have se excerpts of, all of this information that has been presented under oath, we don't really know for sure how much of this the fbi or the lawyers at the justice department may not already know, but certainly the ball will shift into their court, so to speak, with what to do with it in terms of whether or not there
are prosecutions to pursue coming out of the committee. >> in partnership with the eleanor cook foundation, i am pleased to extend an invitation to today's event, a keynote address from usaid administrator cement the power. i am kit -- administrator samantha power. today i am also the responsible officer for this event. in that spirit, before we begin, i want to share with you some information about our building's safety precautions. overall we feel very secure, but as a convene or, we must prepare for any eventuality. please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our emergency exit pathways for this room, which are behind me to the right and in the foyer behind you in the back corner. should the need arise, please follow my instructions and move towards these exits. one second announcement before we begin, following today's keynote address, we will welcome
questions from the audience in person and online. if you would like to ask a question, please submit it on the event page which can be accessed using the qr code on the screens. we encourage questions and look forward to addressing them in a short while. without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce the csis trustee for today's event. [applause] >> 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 tradition. it is an important meeting for three reasons. first, the topic. it is essential for the world to focus on nutrition for our youngest citizens.
wasting is far too prevalent in the world. 45 million children in 2020, more than double the 2030 global target of less than 3%. this challenge has been exacerbated by the brutal war in ukraine and other conflict, the converging challenges around climate change, drought, food systems from covid-19, with supply chains snarled or impeded. conflict and drought are forcing the migration of populations of families moving from one village and crowding into another, and this number is likely to increase. the second reason is that 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, a global
malnutrition crisis could lead to lifelong effect on education, diet-related chronic diseases, and a decline in people's capacity to thrive and contribute to their country's economic growth. when coupled with immunization gaps, we are faced with a child survival crisis around the world. at unicef we begin to make this case that in our world today, there is no time to waste. the third reason why this meeting today is important is the leaders involved. you will see very capable women leaders before you in executive director catherine russell and administrator cement the power, and their agencies have been in the forefront of nutrition for decades. they are exceptionally strong partners throughout the world, and along with the eleanor cook foundation, we have the chance to change the trajectory of millions of lives. they are issuing a call to action for every one of us today , so may i introduce my friend,
the h executive director of unicef, who has one of the most heartbreaking and rewarding jobs in this world. her first trips were to pakistan and afghanistan 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 is so great to be back at csis, and it is fantastic to follow henrietta. it is becoming habit for me. i am really happy to see her face and hear her voice, which is such a strong, important voice in this world for children. i'm delighted to follow her. i also want to thank cement the power and our friends at csis, and the 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. as henrietta mentioned, we are seeing the harsh impact of this crisis in a 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. in 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 have ever seen a severely wasted child, that image will never leave you. i have seen that many times, but most recently i saw very fragile children in recent missions to ethiopia and afghanistan, and those are things that you would rather forget, but i am glad that i saw it and i am glad that 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 two week and to sick to eat ordinary food. they cannot be saved with bags of wheat or soy. to survive, they need urgent therapeutic attrition -- therapeutic nutrition. the conditions that created this crisis, the crushing economic impact of the pandemic, war in ukraine and other parts of the world, and climate driven drought are putting children at risk every single day. rising rates of severe malnutrition are serious enough, but this is coinciding with sharply decreased rates of immunization against childhood diseases for children around the world, and that is truly a lethal combination for malnourished children. this could quickly become more than a nutrition crisis. without rapid action which we could be facing a child survival crisis. ahead of the g7 leaders summit
in june, unicef appealed for $1.72 billion to prevent and treat severe wasting in millions of children in desperate need. g7 collectively pledged support for the crisis, but it is still unclear how much of the support will help us reach children with lifesaving foods 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. u.s. support has been instrumental in helping unicef and our partners scale up early expansion, detection, and treatment policies and programs. i 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 governments to follow suit. we need everyone to affirm that children's lives actually matter
, for if we don't, we will see decades of progress in child survival slip through our fingers. none of 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. so i want to thank you all for your attention here, for being here, for caring about this issue. i would now like to hand over the podium to our wonderful colleague and supporter, wil l moore. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you, executive director russell. it is pretty cool to follow two unicef executive directors. i should probably just retire after this. i don't know if i can top that. just 10 days ago, i traveled with members of congress to a wasting treatment clinic in unity state, south sudan.
that center has seen a fourfold increase in the number of severely malnourished kids just in the last six months. as edie russell said, if you have ever spent time with a wasted child, you know it is 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 have made many visits to clinics like this over the years, it still takes everything i've got to keep it together. you smile to the children who have recovered enough to move their heads and make eye contact. you nod to the mothers whose eyes speak of struggle you can't imagine.
you ask a nurse some questions. how old is this child over here who looks like he could not be overdriven eight once -- could not be older than eight months? she tells you he just turned two. as we boarded the cargo plane back to our lives and places where death 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 packet offers hope. rutf is a relatively complicated name for what it is. he nuts, milk powder, oil, sugar, a blend of micronutrients. that is it. but these simple ingredients combined to offer a potential revolution in child survival. before rutf was invented,
families were forced to travel tens, sometimes hundreds of miles to regional feeding centers, where there was very little to be done. mortality rates in these centers were often upwards of 90%. rutf changed all of that. it contains all of the nutrients a child's body needs to recover. it is portable, long-lasting, heat resistant, and it can be administered to wasted children right in their own homes. and it is highly effective. at that treatment clinic, of the hundreds of local wasted children who have come in since the start of this year, just one has died. in life, there are no sieve or bullets -- no silver bullets, but when it comes to stopping kids from dying from wasting, rutf is as close as one comes. but we have not invested in it.
up to 50 million wasted children in the world today, less than one in four currently receives treat. so millions died. severe malnutrition is estimated to cause a child to die every 11 seconds. those who survive face lasting damage to their health, their body, their brains. today we will hear from administrator power only truly historic steps usaid is taking to finally scale up treatment of wasting. thanks to their leadership, next year is poised to the make -- to be the most transformational year in the history of wasting treatment since rutf was invented. i am also proud that the eleanor crook foundation is here today to represent a whole group of philanthropies who are investing in this historic initiative right alongside usaid.
there are many problems in this world that will take a cage to solve sustainably. ending child deaths from wasting is not one of them. this is something we can do now3. -- do now. it is now my honor to introduce -- where she now serves as the acting director of the bureau for humanitarian assistance. over to you. [applause] >> thank you. it is an honor for me to be part of this event. ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, good morning. i am working at usaid in niger. niger is at the heart of the
region of the world buffeted by the climate impact, the pandemic , and increasing conflict. the food crisis created by russia's war on ukraine is making this crisis even worse. however, nigerians are resilient, and every day through my work, i see inspiring stories. let me share with you some of the numbers. last year's agricultural production dropped by 39%. the people who are hit the hardest when there is no nutritious food are women and children. our latest data showed over 12% of young children are suffering from acute mountain attrition that translates into 1.4 million young children who need treatment.
for those children who survive from acute malnutrition, they see damage because there develop into is compromised. only 43% of children -- are stunted, meaning they are not meeting their food potential. this sounds grim. via -- but i am also here today hope. 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 displaced depend on humanitarian it assistance for their survival and to maintain their dignity. but our work can also transform
-- to achieve their dreams. let me tell you about a young woman with a plant nursery. she dreamed of she was trained in entrepreneurship and established her own business. since she started she has produced and sold over 5000 servings of nutritious plants and also saved money for her household expenses and also the social events. for those young children who are malnourished, providing them treatment saves lives and gives hope to the families. i have visited many centers in my region where i often see mothers bring in their children for treatment because mothers are busy in the village taking care of the other children.
these mothers as their children are brought back from the brink of death gives me a lot of emotions. working with partners gives me great hope because even more families will be able to see their children survive and thrive in niger but also across the world. i hand over to our agency administrator samantha power. thank you. [applause] samantha: thank you so much and a huge thanks for her wonderful introduction and for bringing it
home, bringing it from niger to us here. if you know anything about usaid you know our local staff, which are more than two thirds of our overseas presence brings everything, they bring so much, they bring tremendous technical expertise, they bring vision and ambition to the work they do every day. we are so lucky at usaid. mariana oversees the life-saving humanitarian assistance that far too many hungry people in niger depend upon. thank you for your more than 11 years of service at usaid. all the years of service you did for other organizations and for everything of done for the people of your country. thanks for being here. we are really lucky.
thank you to csis for hosting us today and for their continuous thought leadership on strengthening food systems and nutrition and to caitlin, who i look forward to speaking with later, to my friend henrietta fore, caring for individuals in need is the stuff of legend and her pioneering legacy across decades of public service is unmatched. as the first woman administrator at usaid she certainly paved the way for me to be here today. she left incredibly big shoes to fill, something i know cathy russell can relate to. kathy, to you, we in the biden administration miss you more than words can convey but we also know how incredibly blessed
the world's children are to have you in their corner as their champion. thank you for your partnership and for your friendship. finally, thanks to will and the team at the eleanor kirk foundation for cohosting this event. for 25 years the eleanor kirk foundation with will as its first employee has dedicated itself to combating global hunger. the foundation has fought for the malnourished when the world's attention was elsewhere. they fought during the black -- the last global food price spike in 2008. they have fought with friends on both sides of the aisle during republican and democratic administrations. they have fought because they believed what eleanor herself believed, 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, the number of people going to bed hungry each night fell nearly 30%. from around 805 million down substantially to 590 million people. think about what no longer going to bed hungry meant for those individuals involved. unfortunately, the u.n., two weeks ago, shed light on just how much ground we have lost. today as many as 828 million people are hungry. a decade of progress obliterated with 230 million people newly hungry, 150 million of whom
became hungry and just the past two years since the outbreak of covid-19. today we are confronting something even more devastating. as not only are tens of millions of more people facing the brave hunger, many of them are at risk of outright starvation. the richter scale defines the severity of earthquakes. the fuji does scale measures tornadoes. to measure severe hunger the world devised a new scale. in 2000 for the integrated food security classifications. at phase one, a is food secure. more than 80% of households can meet their basic food needs. at phase two, 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. it is at this stage the world humanitarian relief organization take into overdrive, providing the kind of assistance that for most is the difference 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 faced at least this third crisis phase of hunger. that number reflected many things. job and income losses and supply chain disruption from covid-19,
climate shocks, long simmering conflicts, governments restricting humanitarian access to people in need, but it did not 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. let in your prudence more has driven millions -- vladimir putin's war has driven millions of ukrainians from relative prosperity to destitution and dependence on humanitarian aid. through his actions he is also waging war on the world's poor, spiking food, fertilizer, and fuel prices while taking ukrainian grain off the market. things are going to get worse. the next phase of severe hunger,
phase four 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 growing so weak they are unable to eat food that is put in front of them. after that, the final phase, we call catastrophe. a phase in which families eat less than half of the food they need to survive. they have exhausted all means to cope with hunger. a phase in which 30% of children 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 survived a
famine in the early 1920's following the revolution. the starvation he witnessed was so severe he wrote it reduced a man to a naked animal upon the naked earth. the u.s. secretary-general has said multiple famines may be declared this year in 2023 may be even worse. the question before the world, the question that brings you all here today and 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, no question. what can we do together to avert a global food catastrophe? to start, we have to understand the forces that have led us to this precipice.
the most existential of which is climate change. each day seems to bring a new horror of climate catastrophe like the brutal heat waves we are seeing in texas, the wildfires tearing through europe , or the parts of the united kingdom receiving red alert heat warnings for the first time in their history. it turns out the biggest threat climate change poses to the world's hungry is not a sudden shock. it is a long sustained onslaught. droughts that do not just last for a season but for years. an extreme temperatures and abnormal rainfall patterns have affected the crops of bread baskets like the united states, france, india, brazil, and china in profound ways. nowhere is the pain of trout
being felt more acutely than in somalia. countries that are part of a reason known as the horn of africa. there are two rainy seasons. there are time when farmers so their seeds and patent the livestock. on seven separate occasions, this region of 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. and our best forecasts tell us that the next rainy season, which usually begins in october,
will bring more rains as well. one record shattered immediately after another. this is all coming on the heels of the covid-19 pandemic which has deepened economic downturns within countries decimated national finance, ballooned public debt and weakened currencies used to import food, fuel, and fertilizer, leading to spiraling prices. there is a saying the animals die first. near biblical scenes weaken farm animals are dying. 7 million diet -- livestock's -- there's not enough water to quench their thirst or enough grass to feed them. we know children, the least
equipped to deal with the lack of food are also beginning to suffer. at least 1100 and three children have already died in these three 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 into man lead to a new record high in the fao global food price index. at that point prices were 40% higher than they were before the pandemic began. and then vladimir putin decided to invade ukraine and hold food hostage. since the war began, the russian military has destroyed and mind
ukrainian farmland. and effectively blockaded ukraine's black seaports, giving 20 million tons of corn and -- trillions of calories are literally sitting in storage while people go without food. with storage facilities still full, this year's summer harvest and expected 50 million tons of grain sold by courageous ukrainian -- those tons of great have nowhere to be stockpiled. ukraine and that you have puzzled to enable -- ukraine and the european union have hustled to enable some of the brain and we are working side-by-side with them. about 2 million tons a month
getting out through a patchwork of routes and a lot of ingenuity. while putin's fleet maintains its blockade, the united nations and turk the have been working for weeks to try to secure a diplomatic agreement to reopen the black seaports and let the food go. just as sinister as putin's stranglehold on ukraine's grain are the less noticed bans on the export of russian fertilizer. russia is the world's largest exporter of fertilizer, but starting in november last year russia begin to restrict some of it's apply to global markets, contributing to 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 last, meeting smaller
harvest in smaller future incomes. farmers in africa are forced to cut back on fertilizer at the worst possible time, leading to a predicted shortfall in their harvest of 20%, worth $11 billion. now putin will tell you that western sanctions are to blame, even though we purposely created carveouts for russian fertilizer and food. the truth never deters putin from espousing its opposite. as alexander once put it in his nobel prize speech, anyone who has proclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose falsehood as his principal. today, faced with what may be
the most alarming global food crisis of our lifetimes, the united states and our allies choose a different principal. while putin bombs grain silos and seizes produce from hard-working farmers, we are working to bring ukrainian grain and oil to markets. the ukrainian minister of agriculture and i will have more to say on this tomorrow. we know that these efforts will not be enough to avert the catastrophe. to do that, 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 harvest, and undertaking concerted diplomacy so we mobilize more resources by donors, avoid export
restrictions that can exacerbate the crisis, and lesson the burden on poor countries. three areas where the united states is leading but where others must urgently step up. let's start with humanitarian aid that the united states is providing to those in the most dire conditions. the humanitarian trust is an emergency reserve shared by u.s. eight the u.s. department of agriculture. it is designed to be used when extraordinary 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 dissent that food aid to
countries facing the most severe food insecurity, including many in the horn of africa and yemen. at the g7 president biden and our allies announced contributions of more than $4.5 billion to address global security with more than half of those commitments coming from the united states. today i am announcing a surge of nearly $1.2 billion in funding that will be dispatched to meet the immediate needs faced by the people of somalia, kenya, and ethiopia. this is on top of the more than $507 million we have already given to the response. later this week i'll be traveling to the region to see up close how we can better help with those weathering this historic crisis. some of this assistance will take the form of food aid, staples like sorghum and split peas and enriched cooking oil
that can sustain those who lack access to food, but as the global community has long realized, hunger cannot be fought with food alone. even in very difficult situations, markets that sell food still function. immediate cash assistance can be faster and more effective at staving off hunger, while also posting local economies that need all of support they get. some countries already have social safety nets in place that can quickly send money to people's mobile phones. here we are supporting efforts to quickly get cash into people's hands. we also know that in severe food crises, more people die from disease and hunger. they become so weak from a lack of food their immune systems cannot fight off diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles. as part of our assistance,
mobile health and nutrition teams will rapidly expand access to vaccines and treat the severely ill and they will also provide clean water and sanitation. -- sanitation kits to stop deadly waterborne diseases that are more likely to spread when sources of freshwater dry up as in droughts like the ones these countries in these communities are confronting. we also know 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 two 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 is why our assistance also includes child protection and family reunification services, as well as training for health care workers and counseling and medical support to survivors of
sexual violence. perhaps the most immediate and lifesaving humanitarian aid we can provide is assistance to revive severely malnourished children. in my hand and in all of your seats today is something which stands for 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 the child is severely malnourished. there aren't become so thin that it measures just 11.5 centimeters in circumference. this is the size of the face of a man's wristwatch.
as kathy mentioned visiting a clinic to treat severely malnourished children is an experience that stays with you. as will mentioned, one can barely hold it together. it is to see children on the edge of death, many barely breathing, too weak to eat or drink. the children have already succumbed. their bodies covered only in shrouds. voices in these places rarely rise above a whisper. the children are not strong enough and the parents struggle to overcome their horror and grief. it is to visit a nursery filled with silent screams. as others have mentioned, we do 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
reverse child wasting 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 the 90% who now perish. despite the power of this incredible tool in the fight against child wasting, it is drastically underutilized. most parents are able to bring their children to clinics to seek treatment are met with a lack of supply. to date we are addressing that. united states will provide $200 million to unicef to maximize the procurement of are you tf -- of rutf and distribute in them
to countries that most need them , including in the horn of africa. we will help get this lifesaving care into the mouths of 2.4 million people, the largest li bin coverage on record. while this is the most significant commitment that has ever been made, there is still more that can be done. there are others who can chip in to help. today i am pleased to share that several private partners, the eleanor crook foundation, the cri foundation, the relief foundation, and the philanthropist sir chris hone our joining us today to contribute an additional $50 million towards this effort. [applause] given the gap between global need in 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 know we need to see progress beyond what our own programs can deliver. when it comes to leveraging our investments, we are not done, nor is the foundation. between now and september when the world gathers for the u.n. general assembly, we together, working with unicef, will leverage the shared investment we are making today to raise an additional $250 million. this is the target we are setting today. [applause] no child should die from malnutrition when we have the tools to stop it.
it is that simple. reaching that goal will require others to step up. this is one of the best investments, one of the best bargains we have in our toolkit for dealing with hunger and for dealing with the need for more nutrition and for ultimately development. those are just some of the vital steps we are taking to provide this kind of immediate relief to the severely malnourished. to prevent not just this catastrophe but those yet to come, we have to go beyond emergency assistance and make substantial investment in agricultural productivity, and 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.
as such aid went from constituting a relatively marginal share of total development assistance, less than 1% of total foreign aid back in 1970 to more than 20% today. unfortunately, as global support from lifesaving humanitarian aid, which is so important, as global support for that increased, investments and long-term agricultural productivity, the kind needed to turn poor countries from food importers to exporters, agricultural develop and assistance dropped from an average $22 billion to less than $5 billion in 2006. that is a major drop. the problem with this trend is well humanitarian aid stays alive, it does not generally leave communities or farmers better able to weather the next failed harvest.
because it was clear during the last global food price spike that the urgent had crowded out the important, president obama launched an ambitious new food security initiative, feed the future. feed the future was designed to give countries with real agricultural potential the chance to become agricultural powers, not the chance to manage the next food emergency but contribute to preventing it. each year the united states invests nearly $2 billion towards this aim of strengthening global food security beyond humanitarian assistance. much of this money goes into investments that are decidedly long-term. research to develop new feeds that will allow farmers to grow nutritious foods, even in the midst of the highest temperatures and longest routes faced by modern agriculture. private sector partnerships that create new markets and demand
for the crops that smallholder farmers previously sold only locally. all of these measures can add up. in the 12 countries were feed the future is active, we see stronger food systems and better nutrition and more resilience to shock. because agricultural development is the most effective way to raising incomes of the very poor , some 23 million people have been lifted out of poverty. countries like ethiopia, ghana, and bangladesh, that prioritize investments in agricultural productivity saw accelerated reductions in poverty and malnutrition, putting them in a better position to deal with today's crisis. it turns out also that many of the steps designed to boost agricultural productivity over time can also prove critical right now. recognizing this, president biden and our allies in congress approved $760 million to expand
and scale agricultural programs that can help combat the effects of high food, high fuel, and high fertilizer prices today. $90 million of which, with support from congress, will be spent in kenya, ethiopia, and somalia. a key part of this effort will be expanding, -- expanding financing a distribution to get higher-quality seeds, seeds that can withstand drought and floods into the hands of farmers who currently cannot afford those seeds or cannot 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 the equivalent to all of the farmland in rwanda. we are also using new technology to help poor farmers waste less
fertilizer. in ethiopia we use satellite mapping to help farmers fine-tune their fertilizer application. the result, fertilizer waste dropped 40% to 80% while yields grew as much as 200%. we are now working to spread this kind of perception agriculture approach throughout the continent starting with niger, donna, tanzania, malawi, in zambia. we are also working with fertilizer companies to increase distribution in africa. i am pleased to announce that one of the world's largest fertilizer companies has offered to provide $20 million of free fertilizer that usaid will then help distribute, enough to support $100,000, and we need other fertilizer companies benefiting from high prices to join them. we are also helping tackle the
25% to 30% of global food reduction that is lost or goes to wakes. -- or goes to waste. one of the most important steps we can take to boost food or lower agricultural emissions. in nigeria were 40% of the country's food production is lost, we have partnered with a local business that install solar powered walking pulled storage rooms in markets, giving farmers face to store their produce and prevent spoilage. in ghana, we have partnered with the same company that pioneered some of the first long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets to create airtight grain storage bags that prevent pests and mold from spoiling harvests. recognizing the significant and the benefits of sustained investment in long-term agricultural productivity, last
month president biden announced we would expand feed to the futures reach to eight additional countries, bringing us to 20 target countries in total. here we are. [applause] thanks to president biden. aid, this longer-term investment that can pay returns right now, these are critical tools in our fight against global hunger. they will not succeed without collective action unless countries around the world, especially those that have the means to help do their part. secretary blinken and ambassador thomas greenfield have been hard at work engaged 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 u.n. member states to contribute to humanitarian organizations, to
keep their food and agricultural markets open and avoid export bans on food and fertilizer, to increase domestic fertilizer production, to share market data come into increase investments in long-term agricultural productivity. that was the roadmap. already more than 100 countries have signed on to this roadmap. we need additional signatories to join the world at the table. 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 the 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 fueled the markets.
signing onto the roadmap, removing export restrictions in its fertilizer exports and releasing some of its grain reserves, either to the global market or to humanitarian entities like the world food program 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. 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've contributed $3 million to wmd, and that is for global response. united states has provided $3.9 billion to wfp so far this fiscal year.
united states has long been the leader in responding to humanitarian crises and we are proud of that leadership and incredibly grateful to congress and the american people for their compassion and generosity. the world has always been admitted -- the world has always benefited from the generosity of other nations. it was the speedy mobilization of resources by donors that helped avert a famine in 2017. unfortunately today, when the needs are greatest, assistance budgets are stagnating or they are being cut. some countries are rewriting the rules on what counts as development spending to shield themselves from criticism as they cut funding. some countries that stepped up before have provided only 8% of what they contributed five years ago to the humanitarian response in the horn. with our announcements today, we
are covering 86% of the world food program's current funding appeal for the horn of africa. to be clear, many of the countries whose funding to meet food insecurity africa has dropped off have generously opened their doors to ukrainian refugees and supplied 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. these are extraordinary times and they do call for extraordinary measures. the generosity marshall towards the people of ukraine must also be directed to the less visible victims of vladimir putin swore. to those bearing the brunt of the cascading effects of his terror. in the united states, we have
twice worked with congress to obtain emergency funding over and above our pre-existing approved budgets to support both ukrainians and those hit hardest by the global food crisis. we need other countries 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 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 and fertilizer and 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 in the ban imposing countries collapse, punishing poor farmers who now current last from their harvest and have less incentive to plant more. poverty grows. more people go hungry in importing countries. it is the ultimate lose lose. now an extremely encouraging recent development, indonesia has lifted its short-lived export restrictions on palm oil. we encourage other nations to make similar moves. several of the countries instituting such bands have been unwilling to criticize the russian governments belligerence. countries that have set out this
war must not sit out this global food crisis. crucially, we must move with other bilateral creditors to provide debt relief. some 60% of low income countries are facing or experiencing get distressed. their public finances wiped away by their responses to the pandemic. if we are to give these countries the fiscal bank space they need to respond to mounting challenges and prevent broader economic and political collapse, we need relevant creditors, including countries such as 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.
we have already seen protests against high food prices in at least 17 countries across nearly every continent. just like week -- just last week on rest fueled by a mix of corruption led the president of sri lanka to resign and flee. if history is any guide, we know it will not be the last government to fall. even though this 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 marshall billions of dollars in resources in response to past emergencies. diplomacy cannot just occur in foreign capitals. we have to make the case to every citizen that they have a stake in mitigating this crisis.
we have to make it easier for everyone to support efforts to tackle the current emergency. in that spirit we have partnered with gofundme to launch today the global food fund, an online donation platform for anyone who is able to contribute to the cause. the money this fund raises will go directly to nonprofit organizations providing humanitarian relief on the ground where hunger and malnutrition are at their worst. it is accepting donations now at gofundme.org. eight, investment, diplomacy. if we do not urgently pursue action on all three fronts, catastrophe shirley awaits those least -- catastrophe surely awaits those least able to
confront it. the united states has led from future bidding record amounts of emergency assistance to doubling down on agricultural development investments that will stave off the next food crisis to using international and public diplomacy to marshal a truly global response. now we need others to do more before a famine strikes, before millions more children find themselves on the knife's edge. recall that saying. the animals die first. if the world does not do more, if we do not rally together, we all know what will come next. thank you so much. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you so much. it is an honor to host you on stage. since the war broke out in ukraine, you have visited poland, moldova, malawi, and zambia. what did you observe? samantha: thank you so much for having us in all of the work you are doing. first of all, i saw the incredible generosity i mentioned in the speech of close. unbelievable. moldova struggling with energy crisis. spiraling food, gas, petrol, diesel prices, and yet took the highest per capita number of ukrainians of all of the frontline states.
really with all of the vulnerability it was facing, and then with poland, every house just opening up its doors. people driving, we have heard all of this, driving to the train station asking what do you need, how can i help? even though some of that initial wave has receded, the wave of solidarity and support, and things have become more complicated over time, sustaining that support for ukrainian families has come across, so that was a very moving feature of the response, and i think most refugees want to be able to go home, and many are just looking for conditions to exist, schools to restart or to have some temporary housing or some means of getting through the winter once you start to face winter conditions. we also see the european union
shifting more of its attention to supporting initiatives inside ukraine. that aspect of it, i think in zambia and the lowery, just to humanize it, when you meet with smallholder farmers, and we met with a group of female small-scale farmers who incrementally every year were producing much, selling more, working with us and others to get connected to markets and how you can just imagine the visual. they go in to the stand or the store where they have always bought their fertilizer it in one case the fertilizer is three times the cost of what it was a year ago. generally about double. for them it is just linear. there is no margin.
i was using my extra profit to be able to have additional inputs or be able to plant more, but i had not counted on this. now what? the predicament of it all. they had many problems on february 23, the day before russia's war, and they even had increased fertilizer prices again because the export bans on fertilizer that i described in the price of natural gas going up. the spike since february 24 is something they had not anticipated, had not been able to anticipate. it is a question of all of these sophie's choice. if we plant half as much, what kind of income will i obtain, and one of the things -- this is maybe more detail than you asked
for -- i was struck so many of them, these are people just making it out of poverty and able to begin to think about some profit, think about spending that profit on school feet, or uniforms for kids, really important stuff that is foundational for the next generation, i said to myself, we signed our contracts with the middlemen before the food prices went up, right? these are the kinds of things we at usaid are thinking how can we blunt the impact of that? it is the worst of all worlds where what they get is fixed and what they have to pay is increasing daily and weekly and monthly. this is what is being done to try to increase domestic fertilizer production, there is some evidence wheat prices may be coming down a little bit if more wheat is brought online.
one of the things we do at usaid's make sure people have access to market information. every lag there might be between a change in price somewhere else or a change in market price and then a change in what happens at the most local of local markets is going to be eating into the modest margins that people are living on. in your own word -- caitlin: in your own words you said is waging a war -- we have two important questions, one on localization and one on climate change. we have someone in the audience to ask the question on localization efforts. >> [inaudible] >> i am sarah higgins from
catholic relief services. you talked about the gofundme. can you talk a little bit more about that and how that will involve the global food crisis response and building the capacity of local ngo's? samantha: i think the precise breakdown among the nonprofits that will benefit, that is something you will be able to find on the page, i do not have that offhand about which organization. we at usaid are always careful not to put the thumb on the scale too heavily in one direction and make sure a number of organizations who can scale quickly, so scale and speed matter. but we have done in ukraine and we have the great sarah charles who is an stronger argument
entering assistance, the bureau of humanitarian assistance at usaid, we basically try to put the call out to local organizations who i think it is fair to say our humanitarian efforts, and the past food invasions were not working so much compared to the big actors like unicef, what that has entailed is going to our more long-standing development, programming experts. to see are there partners you have worked with that have been -- that have proven their ability to move resources into communities? that is something that is underway. in addition we have worked with mercy corps to set up a consortium for ngo's that we are
hopeful about steering local organizations to so they can take advantage of the $100 million arrangement with mercy corps we hope will be dispersed among local organizations, and that the u.n. has its own humanitarian fund to local organizations can apply who are trying to use our leverage as a major donor to that fund to get them to partner in ukraine with local organizations. on the food security side there is slightly more of a tradition, although not nearly enough. just as in the democracy space, and the global health space a lot of progress has been made, moving towards local partners, i think food security is an area we are seeking to do more, and that includes bringing more people into usaid who can sit down to global organizations.
caitlin: we have a question about climate change. the duke university student. >> good morning. thank you for being here. my question was about usaid responding to the current current crises you spoke about today, harnessing feed the future and what opportunities might exist to work with the new aim for climate initiative to bring information and technology to the nutrition response based. -- response space. samantha: i know it feels like the second supplemental past a long time ago, certainly the life of people who are hungry it must feel like a very long time ago. we are still in the process of moving that money into the field it entails a lot of engagement with congress about the
breakdowns. all i can tell you at this point about the synergy is that all of usa is now a climate agency. there is not one aspect of our program, what the bureau for humanitarian affairs is doing, what our climate specialists are doing, our conflict prevention and stabilization people, every aspect, global health, so new crises anticipated along the lines of what we as a planet are still going through by virtue of changing climate and so forth. the climate agenda is permeating not only all bureaus, but all programmatic decisions. that is the direction we are moving as an agency. specifically i think the synergy
between our food security and resilience team and our climate environment teams cannot be a more inexorable connection. i think much of the thinking about where those resources can be allocated is in a sense combined thinking. if you look at the feed the future, the new target countries, you will see for the first time the notre dame climate index is one of the indicators that was used to choose -- a lot of competition for companies that benefit from the additional focus being a feed the future target country brings about, and we are actually seeing in the selection of those countries in the decision about whether under country stay at feed the future target countries, and integration of climate need along with some of those other questions of is there a will
among political leaders, two we see real potential for small-scale farmers or for the agricultural sector in general to make a move in a direction that would allow them to become exporters or for small-scale farmers to become more commercial farmers. in terms of how the actual food security supplemental resources are allocated and whether there is overlap with the pre-existing planning we have been doing, i do not yet have that 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
question from someone who has been asking what our audience can do to support you in the comprehensive effort you have announced today. samantha: i think because there is been so much pain over such a period of time with covid, economic pain, the devastation of the health effects that all of the losses that have occurred in the u.s. and all around the world, and because we are sadly getting used to reading about heat waves and wildfires and droughts, i think the kind of perfect storm -- >> we are leaving this to keep our more than for your commitment to live coverage of congress. the house about a gavel for general speeches. this is live coverage on c-span.
house will be i order. t the chair lays before the house a communication from thespeaker. washington, d.c., july 18, 2022. i hereby appoint the honorable pro tempore on this day.peaker signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. e speaker pro tempore: puuant to therder of the chair will now recognize members from lists submied by the marity and minority leaders