The U.S.-Africa leaders summit will be held from December 13 to December 15, President Joe Biden announced Wednesday. He described the U.S. commitment to Africa as “enduring.”
“I look forward to hosting leaders from across the African continent in Washington“, a statement read.
According the press release, the gathering will look to “foster new economic engagement; reinforce the U.S.-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights; mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and of future pandemics; work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; advance peace and security; respond to the climate crisis; and amplify diaspora ties”.
On the food security aspect, the current administration announced last month it would contribute to Africa’s fight against the effects of high food, fuel, and surging fertilizer prices in the countries which need the most support.
The United States vowed to support the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) initiative aimed at increasing food production on the continent in order to avert the looming food crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In order to do so, the US will provide a $760 million package. It’s the US’s contribution to the G7 promised $4.5 billion to address global food security.
The AfDB’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility was approved by its board of directors in May. It plans to provide 20 million smallholder farmers with climate-smart among other things.
USAID help for the Horn of Africa
On Tuesday already, Samantha Power, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), announced that the organisation would provide nearly $1.3 billion in additional critical humanitarian and development assistance to help stave off mass starvation and deaths.
The funding should include emergency food to respond to the threat of famine, nutritional support to prevent and treat child malnutrition, farming and agricultural support to prevent crop and livestock losses, urgent health support as well as clean water to prevent disease outbreaks often prevalent during drought. The foundation also plans to provide support to protect women and children from higher risk of violence.
A portion of these funds is included in the Ukraine supplemental and is part of the $2.76 billion in USAID assistance announced by the US President on June 27.