The United States will support the Middle East and North Africa with $1 billion in food aid in response to increasing food insecurity caused by the war in Ukraine.
A US official says President Joe Biden will announce the decision in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
This will occur during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit, the region’s leading political and economic alliance. GCC members are the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to Biden, Iraq, Egypt, and Jordan leaders will also attend Saturday’s meeting.
During the summit, Biden will discuss, among other things, the US role in the Middle East and limiting Iran’s influence. Washington also wants to get more oil to end the rising fuel prices that result from the war in Ukraine. Biden already tempered expectations on Friday by saying that concrete results would only be seen in a “few weeks.”
The strengthening of ties with oil-rich Saudi Arabia, the US’s leading Arab partner in the region, is not without controversy. According to US intelligence agencies, the relations between the two countries were severely damaged by the 2018 murder of critical journalist Jamal Khashoggi, ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.