Deputy Secretary William J. Burns today said the President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative promotes food security and helps reduce vulnerability to drought in Africa.
In his opening remarks to the regional journalists on the margins of African Union Summit at Ethiopia, Mr. Burns said the United States is committed to supporting programs that both support Africa’s long-term goals and short-term needs.
He cited that President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative has committed $3.5 billion over 3 years.
“In the near-term, we are leading international efforts to respond to drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, including by committing over $870 million in relief for the crisis.” -Mr. Burns
Mr. Burns said his visit to Addis Ababa concludes a week-long trip to Africa.
He cited that his visit comes on the heels of Secretary Clinton’s visit to West Africa last week which reaffirms the high priority the Obama Administration attaches to Africa.
“It highlights our ongoing commitment to work with African partners both to seize opportunities and address common challenges.” -Mr. Burns
America’s commitment to the continent is underscored by its work to support gains in democratic governance, sustainable development, economic growth, and the peaceful resolution of conflict.
“This includes our support for democracy and governance programs across the continent, our ongoing efforts to strengthen commercial ties between the U.S. and Africa, and our steadfast support for the protection and promotion of human rights.” -Mr. Burns
He reported that the United States also continues to provide extensive assistance to combat disease and to build the capacity of health systems across Africa, part of a $63 billion over five years commitment.
Mr. Burns visited one excellent example of that effort, a public-private partnership at Wagagai in Uganda which is one of more than a hundred such clinics that the United States has been supporting across Uganda to provide preventive care and comprehensive maternal and child health services.
Mr. Burns’s visit to Africa also included visits to Ghana, Uganda, and South Sudan.
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.