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U.S. Global Food Security Policy: Global Food Security Act

U.S. Global Food Security Policy
Global Food Security Act

Global food security and nutrition programs help families and farmers build the foundations for more independent and prosperous lives. By sharing U.S. expertise in agriculture development and supporting programs that work in partnership with smallholder farmers and especially women, we can continue the progress already being made to tackle hunger and malnutrition under the Feed the Future Initiative. In 2015 alone, this initiative improved the nutrition of 12.5 million children and assisted nearly 7 million farmers and producers in improving their use of technology; and land management practices. See the numerous American Feed the Future partners here!

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We are grateful for the bipartisan support in Congress that solidifies US leadership on global food security by passing the Global Food Security Act in June, 2016. We especially appreciate the leadership of Senators Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Betty McCollum (D-MN) for introducing this important legislation in the 114th Congress. These members of Congress are well-known leaders in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition, as well as champions of small-scale producers’ efforts to lift themselves from poverty.

InterAction thanks the leadership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for their input and support. We also thank Senate and House Leadership, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for shepherding the bill through to final passage.

The Global Food Security Act of 2016 performs the following tasks:

  • Requires a comprehensive Global Food Security Strategy to promote global food and nutrition security (that was delivered to Congress  on October 1st, 2016).

  • Preserves the whole-of-government approach that focuses on coordinating the efforts of 11 departments and agencies to incorporate agricultural development, improve maternal and child nutrition, build the resilience of communities, and engage in partnerships with civil society.

  • Aligns U.S. assistance with country-owned strategies to enhance agricultural productivity, household income, local economies, and food and nutrition security to work toward the ultimate goal of transitioning countries away from U.S. assistance.

  • Prioritizes the growth of small-scale producers’ income, productivity, and livelihoods and improves nutrition, especially among women and children.

  • Leverages unique partnerships with NGOs, the private sector, and research and academic institutions.

  • Improves upon existing monitoring and evaluation practices to ensure the most effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

  • Authorizes appropriations to carry out international development assistance programs and activities under the strategy.

Globally, close to 800 million people are hungry and malnutrition causes nearly half of all deaths of children under 5 (3.1 million children) each year. Moving forward, the Global Food Security Act will help millions of people in developing countries to live healthy, productive lives. The Act will also help prevent generational stunts to mental and physical development that arise from poor nutrition and hunger.

InterAction has played a leading role in convening a broad group of NGOs and other stakeholders to help shape these pieces of legislation, and we are thrilled by the passage of legislation that authorizes Feed the Future and a global food and nutrition security strategy that is inclusive of NGO priorities. We urge for continued support to fight global hunger and malnutrition, and motivate our champions in congress to reauthorize and re-implement the Global Food Security Act.  See our thank you letter to our supporters in Congress on behalf of member NGOs here

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Photo: Krishnasis Ghosh