Washington: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) chief Samantha Power India's visit is targeted to advance US-India strategic partnership and address the global food security crisis.

USAID acting spokesperson Shejal Pulivarti said, "On July 25, Administrator Samantha Power arrived in New Delhi, India to advance the United States' partnership with the Government of India and the Indian people, and reinforce India as a critical global development leader in addressing urgent global challenges, including food insecurity, the climate crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic."

Administrator Power first met with Parameswaran Iyer, CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India Aayog, the Government of India's public policy think tank, to discuss our collaboration across sectors to drive and sustain development outcomes around the world.

On Tuesday, Administrator Power met with civil society representatives to discuss freedom of expression, speech, identity, and the importance of protecting the rights of minority groups.

"The Administrator underscored the United States' continued commitment to work with civil society organizations around the globe to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms," said Pulivarti.

Power later joined Indian agricultural experts and private sector leaders to learn how the United States and India can apply climate-smart and sustainable solutions to address the global food security crisis, which is further exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Potential areas of engagement would focus on optimization, through training and providing reliable information to smallholder farmers, addressing food wastage through the construction of adequate cold storage facilities, and maximizing yields through the efficient use of fertilizer and irrigation techniques," added Pulivarti.

Administrator Power also visited an urban community that benefited from an innovative water ATM, which provides safe, reliable, affordable water for hundreds of families in the area.

"I visited USAID's "Water ATM" near Sarojini Market which provides safe, affordable drinking water 24/7 for the community, including autorickshaw drivers, construction workers & a local chai stand at the market. Just one example of the concrete impact of US-India collaboration," said the USAID chief.

She also met with key Government of India leaders, including Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India PK Mishra, Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, and Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, to reinforce the US and India's long history as strategic partners and collaborators across development issues including food security, climate change, and adaptation through mechanisms such as the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and digital development.

"Pleased to meet @USAID Administrator @SamanthaJPower today. Discussed global development prospects in the context of food, energy and debt challenges. Also exchanged views on further expanding the India-US partnership," Jaishankar tweeted.

"They also discussed the region and the importance of India's leadership, and US support, to Sri Lanka through this economic crisis," said Pulivarti.

Power underscored joint commitment to providing humanitarian assistance and partnering to address remaining development challenges in India, Asia, and around the world.

The visit to India comes amid a global food crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Earlier, the USAID chief criticized China for not doing enough in a food crisis amid the Ukraine war that has led to a surge in global food prices and threatened global food security.