Today we remember the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization and re-commit ourselves to ending global hunger. Food security is a foreign policy priority for the United States. We must continue to find new and innovative ways to get food into the hands of more people.
Rising food prices earlier this year added millions to the nearly one billion people worldwide who suffer from chronic hunger. Today in the horn of Africa, more than 13 million people are affected by a severe drought that has led to a food emergency and a refugee crisis, compounded by terrorist group al-Shabaab’s complete disregard for fellow Somali citizens by blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid. This is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world and it is critical that the international community continue to work to ensure families have access to adequate food and the resources to purchase it.
The United States will continue to provide food aid during these crisis situations, but long-term solutions to food security must be treated with the same sense of urgency. That’s why the Obama Administration started our Feed the Future Initiative. Through it, the United States government is working with partner countries, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders to improve access and availability to nutritious food. And we are teaching families how to ensure their own food security, so that someday help from donors will no longer be needed.
While we recognize that food security cannot be achieved overnight, we are committed to taking steps in the right direction. We have the know-how, the tools, resources, and, increasingly, the political will to rise to this global challenge. If we unite as an international community and stay focused on both the challenges and opportunities, we will help more people around the world realize their God-given potential.