Farm Progress

U.S. to provide additional Ukraine ag aid

$250 million announcement comes after Russia withdraws Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

July 19, 2023

2 Min Read
Ukraine flag with wheat field in background
Getty Images

U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Samantha Power announced the United States will provide an additional $250 million in aid to Ukrainian agriculture producers. The money will be distributed through AGRI-Ukraine, an initiative started last year to support Ukrainian agriculture exports and combat global food security issues exacerbated by the Russian invasion.

According to Power, there is a collective interest in ensuring Ukrainian farmers stay in business. USAID has already been helping Ukrainian farmers store grain they can’t sell. It has also worked with private sector partners to provide financing, seed and fertilizer. She says the additional investments should help farmers plant new crops even if they have been unable to sell previous harvests.

“These investments are part of a broader set of investments that the United States and our partners are making in order to not only help Ukraine win the war on the battlefields, but at the very time they do that, to also build a more resilient future,” Power says.

Her announcement came one day after Russia pulled out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which allowed Ukraine to continue exporting its grain by sea despite Russia’s naval blockade. She spoke from the Ukrainian port city of Odesa during a briefing with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov. Russian forces unleashed aerial attacks on Monday after an explosion temporarily closed the Kerch bridge that connects occupied Crimea with the Russian mainland.

“Putin has claimed that Ukraine should not benefit from the Black Sea Grain Initiative because he says Ukraine is the aggressor in the war,” Power says. “This is obviously a ludicrous claim from the leader of a country that has invaded and committed countless acts of aggression and atrocity against its smaller neighbor.”

The additional funding will be used to create and expand alternative export routes for Ukrainian farmers. It will help modernize Ukrainian border crossings and update road and rail infrastructure. The U.S. will also work with private companies to increase export capacity along Danube River ports.

So far, the United States has committed $350 million to AGRI-Ukraine. Power also called on other nations, philanthropic organizations and the private sector to match the latest American investment.

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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