Dr. Rajiv Shah, the head of the United States Agency for International Development, today outlined the U.S. government's new architecture for food security and officially released the Feed the Future Guide, the implementation strategy for the Obama Administration's global hunger and food security initiative. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Cheryl Mills, Counselor and Chief of Staff at the State Department, also delivered remarks at the symposium, which was hosted by the Chicago Council for Global Affairs.
At the 2009 G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, President Barack Obama pledged at least $3.5 billion for agricultural development and food security over three years. This commitment helped leverage more than $18.5 billion from other donors in support of a common approach to achieve sustainable food security and laid the groundwork for Feed the Future. Dr. Shah, who became Administrator of USAID in January, said this is an initiative whose time had come.
"We are all impatient because we are acutely aware that today the lack of adequate food will result in the premature deaths of about 25,000 people," Dr. Shah said during his speech. "We can Feed the Future, but we have not one more moment to waste."
To achieve measurable results, Feed the Future seeks to align resources with country-owned plans and foster sustained, multi-stakeholder partnerships to reduce hunger and poverty. Through these long-term, large-scale investments in a small number of partner countries, Feed the Future will concentrate resources on investment plans with proven approaches. Included in these plans will be support for women as agricultural producers and as critical actors for creating a food secure world.
"We are supporting this country-led approach because we know it can unlock the potential of all our development partners to make sustainable systemic advances towards a food secure future," Dr. Shah explained. "In most developing countries, women produce from 60 to 80 percent of the food. And when women control gains in income, they are more likely to spend their gains on food and other family needs."
Investments in agricultural productivity, together with improved markets and new research, will increase food supplies and reduce prices for millions of people worldwide. Feed the Future will devote an estimated 9 percent of resources to a purpose-driven research agenda. This allocation will be multiplied by host nation, private sector and other partner investments.
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.
Source: Feed the Future