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MANILA: The Asian Development Bank plans to provide at least $14 billion over 2022-2025 in a comprehensive program of support to ease a food crisis in Asia and the Pacific, its president said on Tuesday.

"Our response will be comprehensive, bringing into focus both the immediate and long term aspects of food security," ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa told a news briefing.

The ADB said assistance under the program will begin this year, and will be drawn from across the lender's sovereign and private sector operations.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has sparked a global food crisis as the conflict has disrupted supplies of food staples, fertilizer, straining a global food system already weakened by climate change impact.

ADB cuts ‘developing Asia’ growth forecast as China lockdowns bite

Russia has called its actions in Ukraine a special military operation.

"This is a timely and urgently needed response to a crisis that is leaving too many poor families in Asia hungry and in deeper poverty," Asakawa said in separate remarks at the ADB's 55th annual meeting.

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