Tamale, Aug. 3, GNA – Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States Representative to the United Nations, is expected to visit Ghana this week as part of a four-day trip to Africa, where she will also visit Uganda and Cape Verde.
Top on her agenda is a discussion on the mutual priorities of Ghana and the United States, focusing on efforts to mitigate food insecurity.
During a special online briefing on Tuesday to announce details of her trip, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “My main goal is to listen so that I can better understand the concerns of Ugandans, Ghanaians, and the people of Cape Verde, and share those concerns back home. And I am eager to discuss our mutual priorities – to continue a conversation that I have been having in New York on efforts to mitigate food insecurity, which is at the top of our agenda for this trip.”
While food insecurity is a global crisis, it has hit Africa particularly hard.
High energy prices, climate change, severe droughts and floods, COVID-19, and increasing conflict have all combined to push millions of people to the brink.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to this crisis, especially since some countries in Africa once got up to 75 per cent of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine.
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “These factors have combined to lead to a five-alarm emergency – the worst food security crisis that I have seen in my entire career. People are starving through no fault of their own, forcing some to travel long distances in the hope of finding humanitarian aid somewhere. Food and oil prices are rising. Malnutrition rates are soaring. And children are dying. The desperate situation makes conflict and violence even more likely; it becomes a vicious cycle that we must stop now before it gets out of hand.”
She said, “The United States has been proud to step up and lead the world in responding to this crisis, including through our efforts at the United Nations, through the Roadmap for Global Food Security. But there is still much more work to be done.”
She added that “So, during my trip, I will visit markets and food production facilities. I will meet with local farmers, activists, and members of civil society. And in Ghana, I will deliver a keynote address on peace and progress on food security.”
Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield added that “Beyond that, my meetings with governments – including with President Museveni, President Akufo-Addo, Foreign Minister Botchwey, Prime Minister Correia e Silva, and other senior officials. I will also be focused on shared prosperity, good governance, human rights, refugee issues, conflict prevention, addressing corruption, and countering disinformation. And, of course, regional peace and security issues will be at the top of my agenda. But I will also raise the alarm on the damage being done to the international system and the UN Charter by the unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine.”
She said, “Finally, I will note that this visit also comes as part of a series of high-level engagements that aim to affirm and strengthen our partnerships and relationships with African leaders and peoples.”
She said, “This trip is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to connect with partners and allies on all the issues I have laid out, and to hear firsthand from those who are dealing with food insecurity and other pressing challenges on the continent.”