World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres told a congressional panel on Friday that it will take more than money to solve the humanitarian issues in Ukraine.
“The United States Congress, on behalf of the American people, have been exceptionally generous, and these are by the Ukrainian people and people around the world who rely on Ukraine,” Andres said. “However, I must tell you, that your work is not done. It's never done. There are structural reasons why establishing international aid took so long to have in Ukraine. Those will not change with billions of dollars.”
Andres said that more thought needs to go into what is being sent to Ukraine. He suggested much of the food is going to waste.
“Large quantities are being delivered today with little regard for what the people of Ukraine can or want to eat,” Andres said. “There's only so much dry pasta Ukrainians need. We have tried to work with the program, but they're way too much outside of Ukraine for weeks and weeks instead of longer being inside the country. With boots on the ground, we know where the need is.”
Andres noted that many nations have depended on Ukraine to provide its food. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of grain.
“It’s telling that World Food Program is bringing food in Ukraine when at the same time World Food Program is saying it needs food to export from Ukraine to feed other countries,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Andres said his organization has provided 40 million meals in the region since the start of the Russian invasion.