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New administration plan brings hope against hunger

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WASHINGTON, DC — International humanitarian organization praised the Administration’s “Feed the Future” initiative outlined today by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security. The initiative will strengthen US commitment to agriculture and rural development, and assist countries in creating long-term solutions to hunger.

“More than a billion people in the world go hungry on a daily basis. This initiative, coupled with urgent Congressional action, could really deliver in the fight against hunger,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. "Feed the Future is based on the truth that real change for people in poverty begins with recipient countries themselves. This ownership-based approach is the best way to ensure that we are giving poor countries the help they need to solve their own hunger challenges."

“These new details provide important information about how the US will structure its assistance and underscore the Obama Administration’s commitment,” said Offenheiser. “This initiative further demonstrates US global leadership in promoting agriculture and food security.”

The US approach to food security abroad has been uncoordinated across US agencies. Shah’s announcement today dovetails with renewed momentum in Congress around the Global Food Security Act, which aims to provide a more comprehensive strategy for the US to address food insecurity abroad, make emergency responses more effective and build long-term food security by supporting smallholder farmers and women food producers.

“Congress must approve the President’s request for $1.6 billion to support the initiative, and follow suit by passing the Global Food Security Act,” said Offenheiser. “The bill, introduced by Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Robert Casey (D-PA), will enshrine in our law our commitment to supporting smallholder farmers as they seek to find ways to escape hunger and poverty.”

“The administration’s commitment to fighting hunger and poverty is obvious today, but we’re still looking for an overarching US Global Development Strategy from the President as soon as possible,” said Offenheiser. “Such a strategy – of which the initiative announced today would be part – is needed to ensure that our government has a clear mission and game plan for supporting the efforts of poor people and their governments to build stronger, better societies.”

 

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