A look at what Biden’s requested aid for Ukraine might buy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The money that President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve for Ukraine is designed to help with a range of needs — military equipment for the immediate fight, economic aid for the future and much more.
Altogether, Biden is seeking $33 billion. Here’s a look at how the White House says such aid would be used:
The president is requesting $20.4 billion to keep weapons and ammunition flowing to Ukrainians defending Kyiv and for shoring up defenses in nearby countries. That money would pay for additional artillery, armored vehicles and anti-armor and anti-air capabilities, which the White House says could continue to move into Ukraine uninterrupted.
The package also would allow for increased cyber capabilities and advanced air defense systems in Ukraine, and increased intelligence support. Approval would mean more money to clear landmines and improvised explosive devices, the White House says, and allow the Ukrainian government to better address threats related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.
Additionally, the money seeks to support U.S. troop deployments on NATO territory, covering the costs of U.S. personnel’s transportation and equipment, temporary duty, special pay, airlift and medical support.
BASIC UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT SERVICES
Some $8.5 billion in the package is designed to go toward economic assistance to help Ukraine’s government respond to the immediate crisis of the war, and to continue to provide basic services to its people. That would ensure the government can keep meeting minimum food, energy and health care needs as the country’s businesses close and economy contracts — causing tax revenue to fall sharply, the White House says.
The money would allow Ukraine’s state energy company to make natural gas purchases and would support agrobusinesses during the fall harvest. It also seeks to combat disinformation and propaganda that the White House says Russia is responsible for, while supporting journalists, defending freedom of expression and helping to hold Russian forces accountable for human rights violations.
GLOBAL FOOD EFFORTS
The proposal calls for $3 billion for food and humanitarian programs around the world and seeks to shield other countries from price shocks caused by war-related problems in the global supply chain. That means providing wheat and flour to developing nations hurt by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House says, as well as money for agricultural systems in those places.
The aid would also buy medical supplies, thermal blankets, emergency health kits, safe drinking water and shelter materials for displaced Ukrainians. It also has financial support for job training, trauma counseling and funding for school districts in the U.S. that are educating Ukrainians coming to the country.
The president’s request has an additional $500 million to bolster U.S. production of domestic crops that have been in short supply due to the war, like wheat and soybeans. Higher rates of lending and crop insurance incentives would help ensure more access to credit and less risk for farmers growing such crops, while also potentially lowering costs to American consumers, according to the White House.
The proposal would also seek to use the Defense Production Act to expand domestic production of critical minerals, including materials for use in finished products like defense systems and cars — another step designed to ease U.S. prices.
And the request seeks more money for enforcing U.S. sanctions against Russia and people for actions related to the war.