US Pledges Long-term Commitment to Fight Global Hunger

Recognizing that chronic hunger threatens more than one billion people worldwide, the United States of America today pledged long-term commitment to end global hunger and food insecurity.

Today in Washington DC, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham says on World Food Day, the world should be focusing on the threat that chronic hunger poses not only to the more than one billion people worldwide who directly suffer from chronic hunger, but to governments, societies, and all of the associated problems that arise from that.

“I think it’s clear that, if you look at what has been going on around the issue of food over the last several years, there have been more than 60 riots in countries since 2007, we have the economic and day-to-day security of families undermined, the environmental security, and even our national security.” – Ms. Clinton

Drought is ravaging the continent of Africa and famine is a harsh reality for millions of people living there. Emergency food and water supplies are a first necessity but for the longterm, many complex political and environmental problems have to be solved.

UN Photo

She says the Obama Administration makes fighting hunger and increasing agriculture-led economic growth a priority.

The US wants to help small farmers worldwide produce more food.

The US wants to make sure that food gets to market and reaches the people who need it, Ms. Clinton said.

It means strengthening the entire farming chain from labs where scientists develop improved seeds, to fields where farmers are laboring sunup to sundown, to the roads and the other infrastructure where the harvest occur and where food is bought and sold, and clearly to enhance the nutritional aspects of the food that people eat, Ms. Clinton highlighted.

According to Ms. Clinton, the US is pleased to be part of a commitment, along with other nations, of more than $22 billion over three years to spur agriculture-led economic growth.

A few weeks ago, Ms. Clinton says the US joined with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to host an event during the United Nations General Assembly, where more than 130 nations, a number of foundations, private companies, international organizations, and NGOs were represented to discuss the strategy that was announced at the G-8 summit in July that we have been working on in a whole-of-government approach.

“First, we’re going to work with partner countries to create and implement their plans.” – Ms. Clinton

Second, the US will address the underlying causes of hunger by investing in all of the tools that are needed to leverage the skills and perseverance of farmers, a majority of whom in the world are women.

Third, the US is going to coordinate on the county, regional, and global level.

Fourth, the US will support multilateral institutions.

Victims of the current devastating drought in Ethiopia, suffering the effects of malnutrition, with many close to fatal starvation, gather at a camp in Korem. A little boy drinks, gaining some nourishment from newly delivered supplies.

UN Photo

“And fifth, we pledge long-term commitment and accountability.” – Ms. Clinton

The US believes that it has taken some significant steps to begin implementing these principles that are critical to the way forward.

“We’re going to make nutrition a key component.” – Ms. Clinton

In addition, the US is investing more in research to fortify staple crops with vitamins and nutrients.

She adds the US is improving the effectiveness of its humanitarian food assistance, and it is working hard to develop better mechanisms to hold them accountable as they go forward.

Under the Obama administration, the government considers food security is closely linked to economic growth, social progress, political stability, and peace. The administration gives importance that there must be real progress in delivering on commitments to improve food security.

In response to the spike in global food prices in 2007-2008, President Obama pledged $3.5 billion to help poor countries fight hunger by investing in agricultural development. The U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative utilizes innovation, research, and development to improve agricultural productivity, link farmers to local and regional markets, enhance nutrition, and build safety nets. These investments will increase the supply of food where it is needed and help vulnerable people withstand price shocks better.

UN at work to end global hunger

In addition, with an endeavor to create a future without hunger, the UN also launched a ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ which challenges all countries to work for a future where every individual has access to food and adequate nutrition.

IAt the launching of the initiative at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said in a world of plenty, no one – not a single person – should go hungry.

Mr. Ban noted “Zero hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and safeguard the environment.

The ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ has five main objectives: to achieve 100 per cent access to adequate food all year round; to end malnutrition in pregnancy and early childhood; to make all food systems sustainable; to increase growth in the productivity and income of smallholders, particularly women; and to achieve a zero rate of food waste.

The ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ is backed by UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank and Bioversity International.

In October 2011, the United Nations and the United States Peace Corps signed an agreement to cooperate in combating worldwide hunger by increasing food security in the 76 countries where the more than 8,600 US volunteers currently work.

The agreement, signed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN World Food Programme (WFP) at their Rome headquarters, builds on years of cooperation with the 50-year-old US organization.

FAO and the Peace Corps have a long history of working together in rural communities throughout the world. This agreement signals a renewed, enhanced commitment to harnessing the respective strengths and expertise of our three organizations to tackle the root causes of hunger and ensure sustainable food security and economic development.

There are nearly 1 billion hungry people around the world today. Hunger and malnutrition are the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

WFP is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.