USAID administrator Samantha Power found a silver lining to potential global food shortages during a Sunday appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.”
WHAT SHE SAID
Power repeated her calls for Congress to pass an additional $33 billion aid package for Ukraine — including $3 billion in humanitarian assistance and food security funding — warning that food and fertilizer will soon be scarce in that country and elsewhere in the world.
“Fertilizer shortages are real now, because Russia is a big exporter of fertilizer, and even though fertilizer is not sanctioned, less fertilizer is coming out of Russia,” she told host George Stephanopoulos, citing Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”
- But Power, formerly President Obama’s U.N. ambassador, added that the dire scarcities could have “green” benefits in the long term.
- “As a result, we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost. And this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually anyway,” she said. “So, never let a crisis go to waste, but we really do need this financial support from the Congress.”
Democrats have long faced accusations of trying to exploit crises to advance their progressive agenda.
- President Biden’s Build Back Better package, billed as an urgently needed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, included $555 billion of investment in anti-climate change measures, including solar and wind energy production and tax credits for electric vehicles.
- The massive spending bill died in the Senate.
Last year, with the global supply of chemical fertilizers already stretched thin, the government of Sri Lanka banned their use in favor of organic agronomic techniques like composting.