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DAKAR (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Friday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will leave 40 million people food insecure and that sub-Saharan Africa will be the hardest hit.

The United States guaranteed $4.5 billion for food security at the G7 summit, of which it contributed $2.76 billion.

There are also plans for the US to contribute $150 million to developing new humanitarian assistance for Africa, but Congress has yet to approve the funds, she added.

Most African governments have avoided taking sides in the European conflict and have refused to join Western condemnations and sanctions.

Africans “don’t want to be pressured into choosing sides” in a repeat of the Cold War, but “need to know the facts,” Linda said.

While energy, climate change, the pandemic and conflict are major causes of global food supply problems, the “most insidious source” is hunger intentionally used as a weapon of war, she said.

Moscow denies responsibility for the food crisis and blamed Western sanctions for slowing its food and fertilizer exports.

Linda refuted that claim on Friday, suggesting that Russia had deliberately taken steps to disrupt global food supply chains while blaming the West.

“We have not seen any indication that Russia will accept a diplomatic solution” to the war in Ukraine, she said.

(By Cooper Inveen)

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