InterAction fully welcomes the Administration’s request for emergency supplemental funding for security and economic assistance for Ukraine and its continued support for additional funding for the global pandemic response.
Additional emergency funds are vital to supporting the people of Ukraine and addressing the humanitarian fallout of Russia’s aggression.
However, given pressing needs, the U.S. must do much more to respond to humanitarian crises and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia’s war of aggression has created over 5.2 million refugees, and another 7.7 million people are displaced within the country. In addition to impoverishing the Ukrainian people and spurring atrocities, the war threatens people far beyond the region by exacerbating a global food crisis.
Ukraine and the Russian Federation provide approximately 30% of the world’s wheat and barley—which is all but cut off—driving up prices of food, fertilizers, and cooking oil to record highs. Food insecurity has been rising steadily in recent years, and additional shocks to grain and fuel supplies are likely to have devastating consequences for people in already hard-hit countries in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and the Sahel.
At the same time, funds are still urgently needed to respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic. As America recovers, many in the rest of the world are still working to respond to the pandemic, while others need assistance to recover from the long-lasting economic and development impacts. And, we are all at risk of new variants emerging. Funds are urgently needed for vaccine administration, testing, therapeutics, and supporting frontline healthcare workers.
InterAction appreciates the U.S. government’s recognition of these crises and calls for urgent action in delivering the necessary resources to respond.