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The AP Interview: Samantha Power vs. food crisis, Russia

The AP Interview: Samantha Power vs. food crisis, Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — Samantha Power won fame while a anthropoid rights advocate accompanied by every one one other accompanied by was picked by President Joe Biden to lead the agency that distributes billions of dollars inside U.S. assistance abroad, including providing additional food assistance than anyone else inside the world. But since Russia invaded Ukraine, that position of position of employment includes a new position of position of employment accompanied by a Cold War exist inside be in touch — countering Russia's messaging abroad.

As executive of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Power is dealing now accompanied by a worldwide food crisis, brought on by local conflicts, the pandemic's monetary upheaval, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by drought accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the other extremes representative of climate change. As the Biden management spells not here often, the problems have all been compounded by Russia invading Ukraine, deepening food shortages accompanied by every one one other accompanied by raising prices everywhere.

That place up an hearts-and-minds competition reminiscent of the days of the Soviet Union last month, when Power visited despairing families accompanied by every one one other accompanied by struggling farmers inside Horn of Africa nations. She watched reassurance workers inside attendance accompanied by crisis food to children, always among the earliest to die inside food crises, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by announced new food aid.

But unexpectedly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov trailed her to Africa days later, visiting other capitals accompanied by a different message meant to shore up his country's partnerships inside Africa.

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It was U.S. accompanied by every one one other accompanied by international sanctions on Russia over its six-month invasion of Ukraine that were to clasp inside ask in remittance of for cutting off vital cereal supplies from the world market, Lavrov claimed. He dismissed "the inappropriately namedsupposed food crisis" on the mainland actuality hit hardest.

In fact, a Russian blockade has kept Ukraine's cereal from reaching the world. The international sanctions on Russia exempt agricultural products accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fertilizer.

"What we're not going to do, some of us inside the administration, is fair permit the Russian Federation, which is still saying it's not at war inside Ukraine, to clasp inside ask in remittance of the latest spike inside food accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fertilizer prices on sanctions accompanied by every one one other accompanied by on the United States," Power, spine inside her office inside Washington, told The Associated Press.

"People, mostly when they're facing a crisis of this enormity, they really do know the difference concerning ... whether you're providing crisis humanitarian assistance ... or whether you're at a podium trying to build it a new Cold War," Power said.

"For Mr. Lavrov to have traveled to Africa fair following I did, there's almost nothing tangible inside the wake of that pay someone a call that the countries he visited have obtained from him, other than the misinformation accompanied by every one one other accompanied by lies," Power said.

Even African officials whose governments refused to fasten inside ceremonial U.N. condemnation earlier this year of Russia's invasion of Ukraine tell of calling Russian leaders privately to encourage Russia to permit Ukraine's cereal not here of the ports, she said.

A former journalist, Power won the Pulitzer inside 2003 for "A Problem from Hell," a book on genocide that has fueled debates inside management accompanied by every one one other accompanied by among academics on the sagacity accompanied by every one one other accompanied by morality of intervening inside atrocities overseas at some hour dated since. She served while U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President Barack Obama, earlier to joining the Biden administration.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, creating new food accompanied by every one one other accompanied by vitality shortfalls at a hour dated when record numbers of people around the world were by that hour dated hungry, a a large amount of of Power's focus has been on the food crisis. After an earlier decade of favourable consequence slicing away at the numbers of people going lacking food, the estimated number of people around the world going ravenous rose to 828 million this year, 150 million fair since the pandemic, Power said, accompanied by numerous inside acute need.

Even inside countries outer external outside areas where assistance organizations warn of famine, high food prices are adding to political unrest, while inside the overthrow of Sri Lanka's management this summer. "Most analysts would exist extremely surprised if the Sri Lankan management were the last to fall," Power noted.

"The cascading political effects accompanied by every one one other accompanied by the instability that stems from monetary suffering accompanied by every one one other accompanied by people's need, the anthropoid need, to clasp authorities accountable for what is a terrifying inability to look not here for the needs of your loved ones — that is a motivator if there at some hour dated is one" to protest, Power said.

"This, I can't speak it additional starkly, is the worst food crisis of our lifetimes," Power said.

There have been some hopeful signs inside recent weeks, she pointed not here — Russia allowing Ukraine to dispatch its earliest ship of cereal inside months not here of a Russian-blockaded port, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by an easing of food accompanied by every one one other accompanied by fuel prices.

But inside the East Africa states hardest hit — Ethiopia, Kenya, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Somalia — quartet rainy seasons inside a row failed, withering cereal inside the meadow accompanied by every one one other accompanied by killing hundreds of million of livestock that were the only support for the region's herders. "They don't have a Plan B," she said.

A woman farmer inside Kenya told her of recoiling at the high cost of fertilizer, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by realizing she could only plant fifty per cent of while a a large amount of food for the following season, a warning of flat deeper hunger coming.

But donor assistance for Africa's contemporaneous hunger crisis is running at less than fifty per cent of of that for the last greatest one, inside 2016, Power said. With no indeed indeed sign of an extremity to the war inside Ukraine or to the food crisis, wealthier countries tell Power they gave a a large amount of of their reassurance money to Ukraine accompanied by every one one other accompanied by are or else tapped out.

Tellingly, a GoFundMe-run description that Power announced inside mid-July for usual people to assist not here inside the worldwide food crisis showed fair $2,367 inside donations on Friday.

Power accompanied by every one one other accompanied by other U.S. officials increasingly encourage China, inside particular, to inside attendance accompanied by additional relief. The Chinese Embassy inside Washington, asked for comment, said China had specified $130 million to the U.N. Food accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Agriculture Organization.

"That's not a talking point," Power said of the appeal to China. "That's a heartfelt hope."

The AP Interview: Samantha Power vs. food crisis, Russia

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