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

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid