Samantha Power, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development, said Sunday that the impacts of the war in Ukraine include global food shortages and prices, maintaining “our job is to look at it globally” when asked if the worldwide consequences are reflective of a brewing world war.
"It is just another catastrophic effect of Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine," Power said on ABC's "This Week.”
This comes after US President Joe Biden pressed Congress on Thursday to consider supplying Ukraine with an additional $33 billion aid package, with $3 billion allocated for humanitarian assistance and food security funding.
“Food prices, right now, George, globally, are up 34 percent from where they were a year ago. Aided substantially, again, by this invasion,” Power said, adding: “So we’ve gone to Congress asking for a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance.”
She continued: “We really do need this financial support from the Congress to be able to meet emergency food needs so we don’t see the cascading deadly effects of Russia’s war extend into Africa and beyond.”
Power noted that many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Middle East get much of their wheat from Ukraine, where farmers are struggling to plant and harvest their crops for fear of shelling and Russian landmines, she said. Their path to exporting these vital products is then severely restricted by Russia’s invasion which caused the closure of Ukraine's ports.
Power was pressed on the nature of the crisis by host George Stephanopoulos, who noted that “listening to you lay out these consequences, it’s hard not to conclude that in some respects this is already become something of a world war.”
“Certainly in terms of effects, not confined to the horrors that the Ukrainian people are suffering,” Power responded. “But our job is to look at it globally.”
“Russia tries to take advantage of this and say, 'oh, it’s the sanctions that are causing these high food prices.' Not at all," she said. "It is Russian’s invasion of Ukraine for no reason and its unwillingness now to come to the negotiating table and get out of Ukraine and get back to Russia.”