Feed the Future

FY2018 Funding Recommendation:  
$1 billion

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       House/Senate FY2017 Request   

       InterAction's FY2018 Recommendation


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Justification

 Key Facts

  • In 2015, FTF helped nearly 9 million farmers and food producers use new technologies and management practices on more than 3 million hectares of land.

  • In 2015, FTF reached almost 18 million children with nutrition interventions.

  • Poverty has been significantly reduced in 11 out of 17 focus countries including: Bangladesh (down 16%), Cambodia (down 26%), Ethiopia (down 12%), Ghana (down 12%), Guatemala (down 27%), Liberia (down 19%), Malawi (down 18%), Nepal (down 36%), Rwanda (down 7%), Tanzania (down 24%), and Zambia (down 8%).

Globally, 795 million people are hungry, and undernutrition causes nearly half of all deaths of children under the age of 5 (nearly 3 million per year). Hunger and malnutrition rob women and men of healthy, productive lives, and stunt the mental and physical development of future generations.

After decades of declining support for farmers in developing countries, renewed U.S. leadership sparked a global commitment to help people feed themselves. Governments, companies, universities, and NGOs have all recommitted to fighting hunger and poverty through new agriculture-focused investments.

The U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future (FTF), takes a comprehensive, sustainable approach to agricultural development and is leading the implementation of the Global Food Security Act that was passed into law with strong bipartisan support in 2016. Investments focus on country-owned plans, and emphasize the importance of gender equality, nutrition, mitigating climate change, and natural resource management. Drawing on resources and expertise from 10 federal agencies, FTF is helping countries, including 19 focus countries, transform their agricultural sectors and sustainably grow enough food to feed their people. FTF already has achieved impressive results, and has committed to reducing stunting rates by 20% in focus regions.

Commitments by InterAction members and private companies have created an unprecedented pool of assets for FTF to leverage to meet its goals. NGOs pledged to spend over $1.5 billion in private resources on food security, agriculture, and nutrition from 2013 to 2015, and in 2015, U.S. government investments leveraged over $154 million in private sector investments. In addition to the passage of the Global Food Security Act, the 2014 issuance of the FTF Civil Society Action Plan is another important step in further leveraging and engaging civil society.

InterAction’s FY2018 recommendation of $1,000,600,000 funds FTF programs at the amount authorized by the Global Food Security Act, allowing the U.S. to scale up successful results and strengthen partnerships with national governments, civil society, and private business.

Success Story

GRADuating Out of Poverty: A New Pathway to Success

No one wants to depend on government food assistance. But for those who have come to rely on aid for their very survival, what is the path to self-reliance? The GRAD project, developed by USAID Ethiopia to complement the government’s Productive Safety Net Program, offers intriguing answers to that question.

Just four years ago, Hilifti was working day and night but still couldn’t earn enough to support herself and her five children. Today, thanks to GRAD, she is a thriving shop owner who knows what it takes to succeed.

“I raised my five children alone. I did some small trading—buying and selling grain—and sold local drinks. I was also a safety net beneficiary, receiving food for work during part of the year. I remember working day and night. There was no time to rest. But still, it was never enough.

First I tried cattle fattening, but I was disappointed with the profit: just 1,000birr ($45) per cow. Thinking it over, I realized this business was probably not the best fit for me. So I asked the project people, and they gave me the training I needed to shift to what I felt in my heart to be right for me: opening a shop.

After paying back the first loan, I took another, this time for 15,000 birr ($678). Having that money, and an activity that worked for me; I became more business-minded. I invested in a shop I had opened in my home. A few months ago I finished repaying my second loan. Next time I am going to ask for even more: 30,000 birr ($1,350). God willing, my oldest daughter, who is studying mechanical engineering at Mekelle University, will graduate next year. My plan is to use some of that money to help her get started in business. I will use the rest to expand my shop even more. If all goes according to plan, I will be able to repay that loan in two years’ time.

Now I know that success is not just a matter of working hard. I was doing that before. It is about having access to money, skills, and knowledge. It is about learning to use your options in a smart way. That is how you succeed.

Hilifti is not alone. She is one of the 63,000 families working their way out of poverty with GRAD. So far, 62% have graduated out of government safety nets, and another 18% are expected to do so in the next two years. Families have increased their savings from $11 to $99, and average household income has gone up $367—nearly doubling household income.

Photo: CARE/GRAD program

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