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CNN: USAID announces new aid for Ukraine's agriculture sector
USAID has established three new partnerships to invest $44 million for storage and infrastructure expansion in Ukraine's agricultural system, CNN reported.
Given that Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters, the Russian invasion poses a significant threat to global food security.
Agriculture Minister Mykola Solskyi said the direct damage caused to Ukraine's agriculture industry was valued at $6.6 billion, according to a Kyiv School of Economics report. Meanwhile, the same report values indirect damage — losses sustained by farmers and businesses due to supply chain interruptions — at $34.25 billion.
Twenty percent of farmable land has also been lost due to the war.
According to CNN, USAID's partnerships with Ukraine's Grain Alliance, Kernel, and Nibulon seek to boost the country's grain shipping capacity by over 3 million tons annually.
Funds will go partly to the renovation of loading areas at the Izmail and Reni terminals in Odesa Oblast and in Slovakia. The funding will also go to grain loading equipment, temporary storage structures, and remanufactured locomotives in Ukraine.
The announcement of USAID's joint initiative comes after Russia's renewed threats to back out of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which is set to expire on March 18. The deal, which the U.N. and Turkey facilitated, was first signed in July 2022, and all parties involved must reagree to sign it in order for it to continue.
Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of attempting to sabotage the grain corridor since the deal was first signed.
The deal mandates that vessels departing from or arriving at Ukrainian ports must undergo inspection by observers from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations while passing through the Bosphorus Strait.
However, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said on Feb. 15 that more than 140 vessels were waiting at that time for inspections, with some waiting for over a month.