Hunger Report Highlights How a Bold U.S. Led-Initiative is Key to Building Resilience to Food Price Volatility
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Washington, DC, November 22, 2010
A new report released today by Bread for the World Institute focuses on the global response to the rise in hunger as a result of the 2008 food price crisis. The report explores the role of the United States in mobilizing global commitments to increase investments in agriculture, food security, and nutrition in developing countries.
“The food price crisis was a wakeup call. It started a new global conversation about hunger, malnutrition, and food security,” said Asma Lateef, director of Bread for the World Institute. “Two years later, with U.S. leadership, there is a renewed focus on smallholder agriculture and reversing decades of neglect -- just as we enter a new period of rising food prices.”
According to the new report, Our Common Interest: Ending Hunger and Malnutrition—Hunger 2011, achieving lasting progress against global hunger and malnutrition is possible. The report examines events that led to the establishment of Feed the Future, a bold initiative from the U.S. government, and its potential to dramatically reduce global hunger and malnutrition.
“It is very exciting that Feed the Future makes the connection between malnutrition early in life, and its impact on long-term economic development,” added Lateef. “This connection and the initiative’s focus on small farmers make it particularly promising in addressing the underlying causes of hunger and poverty.”
The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) recently announced that food prices could rise through 2011 unless production of major crops increases. In its latest Food Outlook report, the FAO warned that the situation could be similar to the 2008 worldwide food crisis. According to the FAO, food imports for the world’s poorest countries are expected to increase by 11 percent in 2010 -- and by 20 percent for low-income food-deficit countries. This highlights the urgent need for programs like Feed the Future to help build resilience, so that poor families in rural areas worldwide are better able to cope with volatile food prices.
“The 2011 Hunger Report aptly reminds us that in order to tackle the root causes of hunger and malnutrition, we need to invest in smallholder farmers and focus on integrating nutrition and agriculture development through a country-led approach,” said Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development. “Feed the Future - a core plank in the most important development strategy delivered by a sitting President since President Kennedy's call for the creation of USAID over 50 years ago – does just that. We are proudly leading a global movement to reverse decades-long neglect of agriculture-led development.”
With Feed the Future, the United States is demonstrating its commitment at the highest levels to fighting hunger and malnutrition. There are proven interventions to reduce malnutrition and improve livelihoods in the poorest parts of the world. Now, policymakers in the United States and in other countries must use the political momentum to deliver the resources needed to turn this promise into a reality for the nearly 1 billion people who suffer from hunger.
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Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Acting Manager for Media Relations, 202-688-1118