WASHINGTON—Recognizing the food insecurity across the globe caused by Putin’s unjust invasion of Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) today called attention to the $100 million of food aid Congress approved in March that has yet to be dispersed, in part due to the high transportation costs.
Ernst called on President Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to act, or otherwise for Congress to pass her bipartisan measure to reduce bureaucratic red tape, lower costs, and expedite food aid to Ukraine and other countries affected by the war.
Click here or on the image above to watch Ernst’s remarks.
While Congress approved $100 million in food aid in March, astonishingly there are only four vessels in the world designed for this scale of food delivery that meet these bureaucratic U.S. flagship requirements to ship the aid, even though more than 12,000 vessels are currently operating globally that could do the job but are not permitted to under the current restrictions.
Ernst is pushing President Biden to immediately waive those requirements under his authority—something he could do instantly—and is also pressing the Senate to take up her bipartisan measure right away to do the same.
Ernst, along with fellow member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), hosted members of Ukrainian civil society for a discussion about Russia’s war in Ukraine and what it means for global food security and agriculture. To read Ernst’s column on the threat to global food security, click here.