U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today presented the World Food Program USA’s George McGovern Leadership Award to Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates.
Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates are two outstanding philanthropists and champions in the fight against global hunger.
“We are delighted to host this event at the State Department because we believe that ending hunger is not only possible, but it is both a moral and strategic imperative. And you know better than most why that happens to be the case. Not only will millions of lives be saved, but we will also promote stability and prosperity and security.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton stressed that the Obama Administration is trying to make sure that fewer people go to bed hungry, more agricultural producers have the support they need to improve their crop yields, access markets, and provide nutrition.
“And this year, I am delighted to present the McGovern Award to two of America’s leading voices and activists on agricultural development, and our close partners in the Feed the Future Initiative.” -Ms. Clinton
Mr. Buffet and Bill Gates have brought to individual smallholder farmers has been really a change agent in the world of fighting hunger and improving food security. She said that 60 to 70 percent of the world’s farmers labor on small plots, primarily for themselves and their families, with the hope that there will also be some left over for the purpose of increasing their incomes.
“Now, the Gates Foundation has focused on research and development to improve the yield of staple crops upon which much of the world depends. And they do work to strengthen farmers’ access to markets and help countries improve their agricultural policies to encourage widespread economic growth.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton said she is grateful that the Foundation makes sure every grant supports an optimal role for women – because she believed fostering women in agriculture is one of the most effective ways to increase production and nutritional outcomes.
“Similarly, the Buffett Foundation supports groundbreaking research to improve soil health, including through the use of no-tillage farming. Howard Buffett is encouraging people to think about a “brown revolution” that will do for Africa what the Green Revolution did for India and Southeast Asia. And he is a tireless advocate for localized solutions that combine better seeds with appropriate techniques that can benefit smallholder farmers.” -Ms. Clinton
He emphasized that both foundations try to make the most of their investments. Together with the World Food Program, the organizations helped launch the Purchase for Progress program, or P4P. Now, P4P buys food locally so the World Food Program’s aid benefits both families in need and nearby farmers. In just three years, P4P has proven itself a powerful tool to help break the cycle of both hunger and poverty.
She reported that supporting such innovation and delivering results are also the basis of the Obama Administration’s Feed the Future initiative.
“We have pledged at least $3.5 billion over three years to help our partner countries increase value along the entire agricultural chain – from fields to markets to homes. And that is the central pillar of our commitment to finding sustainable, long-term solutions to the hunger crisis.” -Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that they are trying to address hunger on all fronts – providing emergency aid, building resilience, investing in solutions that will have lasting effects, seeking innovations that will help them mitigate crises now and in the future.
“And in our efforts, we are absolutely dependent upon our partnerships from the private and philanthropic sectors.” -Ms. Clinton