News / USA

Leading Advocate Praises US Global Anti-Hunger Program

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

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

'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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid