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Washington, D.C.-- Bread for the World welcomes the passage last night by the House of Representatives to authorize the government's Feed the Future initiative. Bread urges the Senate to pass a similar bill before it adjourns this week.
"The House vote shows that ending hunger is not a partisan issue but a priority that should be held by everyone," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. Feed the Future can benefit the more than 500 million family farms throughout the world, the majority of which are in poor countries.
The House legislation will build on the progress already made through Feed the Future by developing a U.S. government-wide strategy that supports country ownership, nutrition, and food security. It will also give priority to assistance to small-scale farmers, especially women.
Additionally, there will be improvements to maternal and child nutrition during the critical 1,000-day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. This is consistent with the nutrition strategy introduced by the U.S. Agency for International Development earlier this year.
"Women farmers produce well over half of all the food grown in the world, including up to 80 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and 60 percent in Asia," added Beckmann. "Eliminating barriers for women farmers will not only help their long-term economic prosperity, but will also help to improve their children’s nutrition, health, and lifelong potential."
"We thank our partners and advocates who have pressed the House to pass this legislation,” said Beckmann. "We congratulate the House on passing this bill, and we urge the Senate to now act as well. In doing so, we will ensure Feed the Future is made a permanent program that will help move us toward ending hunger around the world within our lifetime.”
The House's Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014 and the Senate’s Global Food Security Act of 2014 were introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), respectively. The bills were cosponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
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