UNITED NATIONS - President Joe Biden will announce $2.9 billion in additional U.S. funding to combat global food insecurity when he speaks to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, the White House said.
The new money builds on $6.9 billion in U.S. food security funding already committed this year, the White House said. Biden is also expected to deliver a rebuke of Russia's war in Ukraine when he gives a speech at the United Nations in New York.
The United States has strengthened its focus on food security since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine worsened a global food crisis that was already fueled by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Russia and Ukraine are major grain and fertilizer exporters and shipments were disrupted by the war.
The United Nations has said the conflict has pushed another 47 million people into "acute hunger."
Biden's announcement comes as the United States and Western allies compete with Russia for diplomatic influence. The United States has acknowledged that some countries are concerned the Ukraine war had drawn global attention away from other crises.
"This new announcement of $2.9 billion will save lives through emergency interventions and invest in medium to long term food security assistance in order to protect the world's most vulnerable populations from the escalating global food security crisis," the White House said in a fact sheet.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Michelle Nichols; editing by Jonathan Oatis)