Shaheen, Group of Senators Urge USAID Administrator to Outline Resources Necessary to Combat Unprecedented Levels of Hunger, Famine Worldwide

November 04, 2022

  **Lawmakers provide specific steps to increase impact and efficiency of development and humanitarian aid to prevent the worst-case outcomes stemming from the current global food crisis** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in urging the Biden administration to take additional action to mitigate the historic global food crisis presently forcing hundreds of millions of individuals into hunger and starvation. In a new letter to United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, the Senators called for increased prioritization of emergency food assistance efforts for countries most immediately facing the risk of famine and widespread acute malnutrition, and additionally laid out specific steps USAID should take to better support and treat children at risk and suffering from malnutrition and starvation.

“In the past three years, acute food insecurity has more than doubled from impacting 135 million people in 2019 to 345 million people today,” the Senators wrote, highlighting the devastating risk of famine in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. “As you testified before our Committee in July, the food security situation for hundreds of millions of people was already extremely fragile, even before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. … We applaud the Biden administration’s commitment to simultaneously addressing immediate needs while working to build resilience and sustained food security for the long term. However, we are facing another year of record hunger and loss of life. This humanitarian catastrophe must be averted.”

As a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Shaheen has sounded the alarm on the growing global food security crisis, which has been exacerbated by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. And as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen supported measures in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 government funding proposal to include $8.1 billion for humanitarian assistance to address natural and man-made disasters. The proposal includes $1 billion for food security and agricultural development programs to counter Putin’s deliberate attempt to weaponize global food systems and take advantage of the instability that he has created by invading Ukraine. Furthermore, the bill directs the administration to establish a new Global Food Security Partnership Fund to engage our allies, the private sector and other stakeholders to improve global food security and protect the world’s most vulnerable individuals.  

Find a copy of the letter here.

###