“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.”
—President Obama’s inaugural address, January 20, 2009
Two farmers work on USAID’s Model Rice Farm in northern Nigeria. Jide Adeniyi-Jones Image
Today, out of a total world population of 6.7 billion, over 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition. By 2050, the world population is projected to increase to over 9 billion people. At the G8 Summit in July 2009, the United States and other nations agreed to commit $20 billion over the next three years to address the challenge of simultaneously lifting 1 billion people out of poverty while increasing food production by an estimated 70% by 2050 to meet the needs of a larger and wealthier population. As part of this commitment, President Obama announced his intention to provide at least $3.5 billion over the next three years (FY 2010 to 2012) as the U.S. contribution. To fulfill the President’s commitment, the United States is launching a Government-wide response to global hunger that will include assistance for agricultural development and nutrition provided by USAID, and contributions to the proposed World Bank Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. The core of this new effort will be country-led partnerships and investments in market-driven agriculture to provide reliable access to nutritious food and raise the incomes of the rural poor. USAID supports efforts to increase food security as part of the U.S. Government-wide response to global hunger.
The same five principles that underpin Rwanda’s progress toward achieving national food security are endorsed in the L’Aquila Joint Statement on Food Security. Building on the momentum of the L’Aquila Summit, the Department of State has established the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, setting the five principles of the L’Aquila Joint Statement as the foundation for this effort. Through this Initiative, the U.S. Government will invest heavily in solutions throughout the agricultural supply chain and will seek to reduce under-nutrition. The U.S. Government’s priorities will also include enhancing the effectiveness of American emergency food aid to complement long-term food security goals and empowering women, who constitute the majority of the world’s farmers.
USAID invests in improving food security in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world. It builds agricultural productivity through research and technology development; increases access to finance, inputs, markets, and trade; and seeks opportunities to help small farmers both mitigate and adapt to climate change, which otherwise threatens to further exacerbate food insecurity. Increasing opportunities for smallholder farmers, especially women, and other very poor people is a priority. USAID works closely with host governments and a variety of partners including other donors, foundations, universities, and for-profit firms to increase food security in developing countries. For further information on food security, visit State's Global Hunger and Food Security and USAID's Food Security.