Politics

U.S. to give Cambodia $25 million in agriculture aid.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The U.S. government is giving $25 million in agriculture development aid over five years to projects in Cambodia to help alleviate global food insecurity, an issue made more urgent by Russia’s war in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said on Thursday.

The new aid is part of a 12-year-old American food security project in Cambodia and will fund an initiative called Harvest Three, in which the United States Agency for International Development will work with Cambodian farmers and others in the food industry to get products to more markets. The focus will be on grains, among other products, Mr. Blinken said.

There has been a shortage of grains in parts of the world because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a critical grain exporter.

“Food insecurity around the world is on the rise because of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine,” Mr. Blinken said, “which has blocked millions of tons of Ukrainian crops from being shipped to global markets.”

The secretary of state made global food insecurity a signature issue after President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia began his full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February. Mr. Blinken has urged other countries to help alleviate the shortages in meetings at the United Nations and elsewhere, and he has pressed for Russia to end its blockade of Ukrainian ports that has kept grain from getting out.

The United Nations and Turkey recently negotiated an agreement in which Russia would allow food shipments to sail past the Russian naval blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. On Monday, a ship loaded with corn sailed from Ukraine, the first cargo vessel to do so in more than five months of war.

Speaking with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, by phone on Thursday, Mr. Blinken praised the months of Turkish diplomacy that resulted in the corn shipment.

Mr. Blinken later met with Josep Borrell Fontelles, the European Union’s top foreign policy official, and discussed food and energy insecurity. The two officials were meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations being hosted this week by Cambodia.

Source: Nytimes.com

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