ATLANTA -- CARE, a leading humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls, applauds the Obama administration's new food security strategy outlined by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The new plan aims to make farming practices more productive and profitable in developing countries while addressing the needs of small-scale farmers, the majority of whom are women.

"CARE stands ready to work with the Obama administration and other partners on this critically important effort," says Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE. "We urge the U.S. to continue to take a leadership role in this global effort and encourage Congress to take two actions: pass the Global Food Security Act and pass the FY2010 State and Foreign Operations bill, which includes over $1 billion in international agriculture development which is essential to this effort," says Gayle.

Secretary Clinton outlined the new food security strategy following a high-level meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. CARE notes that the Obama administration plan will improve the U.S. government's process of humanitarian food assistance by allowing local and regional purchase of food, where practical.

"We are pleased that the U.S. commitment to action on global food security addresses the needs of small-scale farmers -- the majority of whom are women -- and highlights the importance of nutrition," says David Kauck, CARE senior technical advisor and an expert on food security issues. "We also must ensure that this investment helps the world's poorest and most vulnerable -- the more than one billion people worldwide who are suffering from chronic hunger," Kauck says.

In remarks last week to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama spoke of the U.S. joining with other nations to launch a $20 billion global food security initiative that will lend a hand to those who need it most and help them develop their own solutions to chronic hunger.

CARE stands firmly behind Secretary Clinton's statement, "the question is not whether we can end hunger, it's whether we will," and calls on Americans to contact their Congressional representatives in support of the global Food Security Act and the FY2010 Foreign Operations Bill.

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. In 66 countries, women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

SOURCE: CARE via PR Newswire.