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BRECKSVILLE, Ohio. The war in Ukraine has affected much of the food exports, which could lead to a food crisis in Jordan. USAID has assured Jordan that the US will work to resolve this issue, and through HR2471, USAID can provide additional economic support to prevent a food crisis in Jordan and other war-related issues.

Background

The political connection, economic partnership, and free trade agreements between the US and Jordan create an excellent political atmosphere for policies that will help prevent a food crisis in Jordan. USAID has successfully helped Jordan overcome poverty, food shortages, access to education and child mortality in the past. The US has the resources and ability to help again if needed, as outlined in HR2471.

Jordan receives most of its staple food, including wheat, from Ukraine and neighboring regions. Without massive imports of these staple foods, many Jordanians will face food insecurity and potential malnutrition. After the tragic invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war, many countries, including Jordan, expected these food security problems. Export from Ukraine has practically stopped, cargo is no longer sent through ports and even some railways closed cross-border food export. While alternative solutions are beginning to emerge in Ukraine, the US and Jordan have prepared for the problem, and possible solutions will flow through USAID.

Legislation Helps USAID Work

HR2471 updates and describes USAID’s economic allocations in Jordan, as well as providing additional financial plans in case export activity changes due to the war in Ukraine. Between the adoption of the bills and now, this concern must become a reality. USAID can scale up work and provide additional economic support to help prevent a food crisis in Jordan. HR2471 specifically proposes that countries affected by the war in Ukraine could receive economic support through Ukrainian aid. With a budget in mind, USAID can know its limits and be confident that it will direct its money towards this envisaged problem.

Agreements between USAID and the Department of State cannot have restrictions on normal notification procedures under HR2471. This legally affects USAID and its ability to support Jordan and its interests. Jordan could make allocations based on its peaceful role in regional politics, and therefore can see unity and partnership with USAID in its favor. Food security concerns may fade before they arise, and US law is likely to continue to support Ukraine and those affected.

Multidimensional support

On May 12, 2022, USAID met with King Abdullah II of Jordan and mentioned future support for Jordan after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The representatives assured that USAID and the US government will work with Jordan to alleviate food insecurity due to export restrictions and obstacles in Ukraine and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. USAID Administrator Samantha Power maintained a positive relationship between USAID and Jordan and was able to reassure Jordan of the importance of economic assistance. She also showed US concern for helping prevent food crises in Jordan and other affected areas.

HR2471 has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to assess appropriations, limits, and budgetary concerns as the war escalates, and now impacts how USAID can provide emerging food insecurity assistance. For Fiscal Year 2023, Biden Administration Proposes Further Increase bilateral economic aid. Foreign relations with Jordan has legislative measures, USAID assistance and executive support to assess Jordan’s concerns and the possibility of a food crisis. While the main food exports are currently trying to leave the country in the midst of a war, the US can be involved in helping in this situation, among other consequences of the war.

USAID and HR2471 have a huge impact on international relations and economic support in times of crisis. Jordan will be able to use this assistance to mitigate the effects of food insecurity, malnutrition and what could be a much bigger problem.

Karen Kroski
A photo: Flickr

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