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Risch on Announcement of Food Aid to Meet Extraordinary Needs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the president’s decision to drawdown $282 million from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT) in order to address historic levels of food insecurity, exacerbated by the Putin regime’s war against Ukraine: 

“The Putin regime’s brutal, unprovoked war against Ukraine has exacerbated historic levels of food insecurity and will inevitably extend far beyond eastern Europe. The global food price crisis of 2007-2008, which sparked riots and destabilized governments across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas, should serve as a warning. It is in the United States’ interest to respond.

“At this critical moment, we must do everything within our power to ensure U.S. international food aid, including the commodities made available through today’s extraordinary BEHT drawdown, reaches our friends in dire need when and where they need it most. I therefore call upon the president and my colleagues in Congress to work with me to immediately enact reforms that will ensure there is more food in our food aid, because hungry people can’t eat transportation costs.”


A decision to drawdown resources from the BEHT must be reserved for only the direst of circumstances. In the face of historic levels of food insecurity, the threat of famine in multiple countries, and hundreds of millions of men, women, and children on the brink of starvation, this is one of those moments.