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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid