Russia asks U.S. for additional 5 million tonnes of food aid

by Teresa Acklin
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Russia has requested an additional 5 million tonnes of food aid from the United States, Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman recently told the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. The request included 1 million tonnes of milling wheat, 1.5 million tonnes of feed wheat, 1.5 million tonnes of maize, 1 million tonnes of soybeans and soybean products and 40,000 tonnes of seed.

Mr. Glickman said the U.S.D.A. would move quickly to answer the request. A U.S. technical team is monitoring Russia's current food needs.

Russia will continue to have pressing emergency food needs in the year 2000, as will some African countries and Iran, where an estimated 2.5 million Afghan refugees need food, according to the U.S.D.A.

Russia was the biggest recipient of U.S. food aid programs in 1999, receiving nearly 3.1 million tonnes of food, including 1.7 million tonnes of wheat. The U.S. provided a record 8.1 million tonnes of food aid in 1999, spurred by economic and political crises in Russia, Kosovo and East Timor, flooding in Bangladesh, drought in China and North Korea and hurricanes in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Wheat comprised a substantial part of the food aid donations.