WASHINGTON (AP) — Samantha Power rose to prominence as a human rights advocate and was chosen by President Joe Biden to head the agency that distributes billions of dollars in US aid abroad, including more than anyone else in the world. including providing more food aid. But since Russia invaded Ukraine, that job involves a new task with Cold War experience – countering Russia’s message abroad.

for international development As administrator of the agency, Power is now dealing with the global food crisis, brought on by local conflicts, the economic turmoil of the pandemic, and drought and other extremes of climate change. As the Biden administration often says, the problems are all compounded by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, deepening food shortages and raising prices everywhere.

It set off a competition of hearts and minds reminiscent of the days of the Soviet Union last month, when Power visited desperate families and struggling farmers in the Horn of Africa. She saw relief workers deliver emergency food to children, always among the first to die in a food crisis, and announced new food aid.

But unexpectedly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left him behind for Africa, visiting other capitals with a different message to shore up his country’s partnership in Africa.

Lavrov claimed there were US and international sanctions on Russia over the six-month invasion of Ukraine, which was blamed for cutting off vital grain supplies from the world market. He dismissed the “so-called food crisis” as the continent being hit hardest.

In fact, the blockade of Russia has prevented the grain of Ukraine from reaching the world. International sanctions on Russia have exempted agricultural products and fertilizers.

“What we are not going to do is allow any of us in the administration, the Russian Federation, which is still saying it is not at war in Ukraine, the latest in sanctions and sanctions on food and fertilizer prices. Spike to blame for the United States,” Powers told the Associated Press back in his office in Washington.

“People, especially when they are facing a crisis of this enormity, they really know the difference … whether you are providing emergency humanitarian aid … the Cold War,” Power said.

Power said, “After Mr. Lavrov’s departure for me to visit Africa, there is almost nothing concrete that he has received from the countries he has visited, other than misinformation and lies. ”

Even as African officials whose governments refused to join the UN’s formal condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Russian leaders told Russian leaders to privately port Ukraine’s grain from Russia. Asked to urge him to let him out, he said.

A former journalist, Power won a Pulitzer in 2003 for “A Problem from Hell,” a book on genocide that has fueled debate between government and academics over the wisdom and ethics of intervening in atrocities abroad. Before joining the Biden administration, he served as the US ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, creating a shortage of new food and energy at a time when record numbers of people around the world were already hungry, much of Power’s focus has been on the food crisis. After a decade of breakthrough numbers of people living without food, the estimated number of people going hungry around the world rose to 828 million this year, up from 150 million since the pandemic, Power said, adding to the acute need for many people. Is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *