WASHINGTON, DC — International humanitarian organization Oxfam America welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech at the Clinton Global Initiative announcing a new Global Hunger Initiative to improve agriculture and reduce poverty and hunger in developing countries. Oxfam America president Raymond C. Offenheiser made the following statement in response:
"We are very pleased to have Secretary Clinton as a champion in the fight against poverty and hunger and welcome her efforts to put poor people and their governments in the lead to address their own food security challenges. The Global Hunger Initiative is a critical step forward in diagnosing the problem and identifying a multi-faceted response. If political leaders see this ownership-based approach through with resources and persistence we will begin to inch closer to long term success at fighting hunger and poverty.
"The world’s attention has been on the economic crisis, and political leaders have mobilized massive resources to prop up the economy. But a global hunger and poverty crisis prevails for one-sixth of humanity. Global hunger and poverty is a human tragedy exacerbated by reduced investments in agricultural production worldwide and the growing impacts of climate change.
"President Obama and Secretary Clinton have demonstrated leadership by recognizing that a new approach and commitment of time and resources is needed to resolve this crisis. We look forward to working with the Obama administration to frame this larger strategy and seeing this food security strategy integrated into Secretary Clinton's larger efforts to bring coherence and new direction to America's efforts to fight global poverty."
Secretary Clinton's announcement follows a series of actions by the United States to promote these concerns at home and in international fora. President Obama announced a doubling of US assistance for agriculture development at the G20 summit in London in April. In July, at the G8 summit in Italy, more than 30 heads of state and international organizations joined a new food security initiative that included a commitment of $20 billion.