The Group of Seven rich democracies will commit up to $4.5 billion to improve global food security, a senior US official said, as the group responds to worries in developing nations about the threat of hunger triggered by war in Ukraine.
On the final day of the G7 summit in Germany, the official said that the United States would provide over half of that sum, which would go to efforts to fight hunger in 47 countries and to fund regional organisations.
The G7 is attempting to rally emerging countries, many with close ties to Russia, to oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and invited five major middle-and-low income democracies to the summit to win them over.
Some developing nations, themselves former victims of western colonialism, see western complaints about Ukraine as self-serving and are more concerned at the impact of soaring food prices on their populations.
Some blame western sanctions, not Russia’s invasion of one of the world’s largest grain producers and blockade of its ports, for the shortages.
“Putin’s actions have been at the core and the thing from which you can draw a direct line to all of the vulnerability that we’re seeing around the world in terms of food security,” the official said.
“His actions have strangled food and agricultural production and have used food as a weapon of war through the destruction of agricultural storage, processing facilities … and the effective blockade of the Black Sea ports,” he added.
About $2 billion of the commitment would go to direct humanitarian interventions, with another $760 million going to “food assistance” to “enhance the resilience and productivity of food systems around the world.”
Meanwhile, Whirlpool has struck a deal to sell its operations in Russia to Turkish appliances maker Arçelik AS, the US company said on Tuesday, a move which will see it join a raft of Western firms exiting the sanctions-hit country.
The deal, which also includes Whirlpool’s sales operations in Kazakhstan and other select countries in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), will result in a loss of $300 million to $400 million in the current quarter, the company said in a regulatory filing.
The systemic challenge
Nato is set to label China a “systemic challenge” when it outlines its new policy guidelines this week, while also highlighting Beijing’s deepening partnership with Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. The so-called Strategic Concept document will outline the alliance’s priorities for the coming decade, and is due to be signed off by Nato leaders at a summit in Madrid this week. The previous version, published in 2010, made no mention of China and referred to Russia as a partner, wording that is set to be scrapped.
Allies won’t go as far as to call China an adversary, said the people who declined to be named on a confidential issue. The document is expected to highlight concerns at China in areas like cybersecurity and disinformation, as well as control of critical infrastructure and compliance with the rules-based international order.