An authorization bill for the Feed the Future initiative is scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives today, AgriPulse reports. HR 5656, which enjoys bipartisan support, is expected to pass easily. The bill was approved unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in November.
Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s Global Food and Security Initiative. It was created as a result of President Obama’s pledge at the 2009 G-8 Summit to mobilize at least $3.5 billion in aid to increase global food security. The U.S. pledge in turn spurred commitments of $18.5 billion from other donors. The United States has surpassed its goal and committed $5 billion in the fight to end hunger and malnutrition. Agencies such as the USDA provide technical assistance.
The program is administered by Dr. Rajiv Shah, who says this about the work:
“Through Feed the Future, we are harnessing the power of science, technology and innovation to unlock opportunities in agriculture for the world’s most vulnerable people. By creating and scaling cutting-edge solutions to our most pressing agricultural challenges, we can help the world’s most vulnerable people move from dependency to self-sufficiency-and out of the tragic cycle of extreme poverty.”
The initiative recognizes the inextricable nature of national security interests and food security and related issues in developing nations, as well as reflecting a moral concern for issues relating to hunger, poverty, and education. The program relies on public-private sector partnerships and local partners to identify problems and develop solutions.
President Obama said of the Feed the Future Initiative:
“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.”
Nineteen countries are targeted, and while the bill covers only 2015 supporters say that would be a good start for the $1-billion-a-year program.
You can follow Feed the Future on Twitter, @FeedtheFuture.