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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Global Hunger and Food Security


Fact Sheet
Bureau of Public Affairs
October 2, 2009

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“The question is not whether we can end hunger, it’s whether we will.” — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Principles for Advancing Global Food Security
  • Comprehensively address the underlying causes of hunger and under-nutrition
  • Invest in country-led plans
  • Strengthen strategic coordination
  • Leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions
  • Make sustained and accountable commitments

The Opportunity
More than one billion people – one sixth of the world’s population – suffer from chronic hunger. Without enough food, adults struggle to work and children struggle to learn. Global food supplies must increase by an estimated 50 percent to meet expected demand in the next 20 years. Advancing sustainable agricultural-led growth increases the availability of food, keeps food affordable, and raises the incomes of the poor.

Global Action
Momentum is building for global action. Developing country leaders have recognized the need to invest in their own food security. At the 2009 L’Aquila G8 Summit, donors collectively committed $20 billion to agricultural development and a new approach to global food security.

U.S. Commitment
The U.S. is committed to working as part of a collaborative global effort centered around country-led processes to improve food security. We are working with stakeholders to advance action that addresses the needs of small scale farmers and agri-businesses, and harnesses the power of women to drive economic growth. We will increase our investment in agriculture development while maintaining our support for humanitarian food assistance.

Sustainable Solutions
We will work with other governments, multinational institutions, NGOs, private companies, and the poor themselves to:

  • Reduce hunger sustainably
  • Raise the incomes of the rural poor
  • Reduce the number of children suffering from under-nutrition

To achieve these goals, we will: 

  • Advance sustainable agricultural-led growth through increased investment across the entire agricultural production and market chain, strengthen post-harvest infrastructure, and protect the natural resource base.
  • Reduce under-nutrition by increasing access to diverse and quality foods, and strengthening prevention, identification and treatment.
  • Increase the impact of humanitarian food assistance by strengthening government capacity to mitigate hunger crises and improving local and regional procurement.

Supporting Country Leadership
Country-led plans enable countries to identify their own solutions, increase the sustainability of investments, and strengthen local, regional and global coordination.

Benefiting from Multilateral Institutions
Multilateral institutions leverage greater global resources and complement bilateral assistance. The U.S. will invest in and encourage contributions to multilateral institutions.

Holding Ourselves Accountable
To increase transparency, we will establish public systems that inform the global community about our investments and their impact. Donors and other stakeholders must ensure their investments reach the poor and increase their efforts to eradicate the debilitating virus of corruption.

The Way Forward
The challenge of reducing global hunger and building sustained rural economic growth cannot be accomplished alone. Our actions and those of others must be sustained, transparent, measurable and inclusive.

For more information about the U.S. commitment to global food security please visit: www.state.gov/globalfoodsecurity.



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