News / USA

Leading Advocate Praises US Global Anti-Hunger Program

'Feed the Future' gets high marks from World Food Prize winner

Multimedia

Audio

'Bread for the World' President David Beckmann praises a new US program to reduce poverty and malnutrition in 20 countries by boosting the productivity of small farmers and the agriculture industry.
'Bread for the World' President David Beckmann praises a new US program to reduce poverty and malnutrition in 20 countries by boosting the productivity of small farmers and the agriculture industry.

A leading voice in the worldwide fight against hunger is praising a new U.S. aid strategy aimed at improving food production in developing nations.

In its 2011 Hunger Report, the advocacy group Bread for the World says the initiative known as Feed the Future may be the best opportunity in decades for the U.S. to make significant progress against global hunger.

In the past, Bread for the World has been critical of U.S. foreign policy for failing to focus on poverty reduction.

But the group's president, David Beckmann, described the report as "a 200-page hooray" for the Obama administration's Feed the Future program, a three-year, $3.5 billion commitment to focus development assistance on agriculture.

The aim is to reduce poverty and malnutrition in 20 countries by boosting the productivity of small farmers and the agriculture industry.

On-the-ground decision making

At a press conference in Washington, DC, Beckmann noted that Feed the Future is different from previous development efforts because, for one thing, the people receiving the aid set the priorities for how it will be used.

"Makes sense, but it's hard to do, and it's often not been done," he said.

To win Feed the Future backing, country governments, businesses and civil society groups decide where they want to invest resources. That could mean school nutrition programs, access to seeds and fertilizers, developing rural infrastructure, or other ways to improve food security.

Country governments and the U.S. government then develop a strategy to achieve the goals.

Beckmann, winner of the prestigious World Food Prize, says he is especially pleased Feed the Future measures progress by examining rates of child malnutrition.

He added, "We're trying to get agricultural growth of a kind that will reduce poverty and hunger. So it makes sense to try and track whether it's really working by checking whether, in fact, babies are better nourished."

Moderate goals

The U.S. Agency for International Development oversees Feed the Future. At the press conference, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah took a realistic tone about the program's goals.

"Nearly a billion people will go to bed hungry tonight," he said. "We're not proposing that we're going to eliminate hunger in a five-year period."

Shah said in the short term, Feed the Future aims to help end food insecurity in five to 10 countries. So far, he said, USAID has reviewed plans from five countries that would help 6.5 million households.

"If there are six and a half million families out there that will not have to suffer from acute malnutrition for a child because of this program, then that's six and a half million households that will just have a completely different life experience."

Shah added that success for those households could rekindle a wider sense of optimism in the fight against hunger.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid