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‘Global Food Security Act’ Strengthens Feed the Future Initiative to Better Coordinate Agricultural Development Programs, More Aggressively Tackle Chronic Hunger Abroad

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that his legislation, the Global Food Security Act, which aims to attack global hunger and bolster U.S. national security, has passed the Senate.  The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and 13 senators, calls for the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to assist developing countries in combatting food insecurity.

“The need to address global hunger is an urgent foreign policy and national security priority. It is in the United States’ best interest to promote initiatives that work to eliminate the causes of food and nutrition insecurity,” Senator Bob Casey said. “I am proud to be the sponsor of this legislation, and happy that my colleagues joined me in passing this important initiative to combat food insecurity in the developing world.”

“I am so pleased that the Global Food Security Act of 2016 passed the U.S. Senate today,” said Senator Johnny Isakson, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “I introduced this legislation because I believe that it will allow the United States to continue to lead the world in food security. This initiative is morally right and economically smart.  Plus, it helps our national security. This legislation will make a real, direct impact in the lives of children, mothers and families around the world. Chronic hunger and malnutrition are serious problems that have a much larger and lasting effects on nations’ economies, the world, and therefore U.S. national security. I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

 The Global Food Security Act of 2016 is based on the premise that global food insecurity impacts not only developing nations’ economies and productivity, but also the international economy and U.S. national security. It recognizes the important role that agricultural development plays in economic growth, including for women and small-scale producers, as well as the value of leveraging resources and expertise from U.S. academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, private voluntary organizations, and the private sector.

 Specifically, the Global Food Security Act of 2016 would:

 Require the Administration to develop a whole-of-government strategy to address global food insecurity and hunger. The strategy would emphasize agricultural development, improving maternal and child nutrition, building the resilience of communities, and civil society engagement.

 Ensure the alignment of U.S. assistance with country-owned strategies to enhance agricultural productivity, household income, local economies, and food and nutrition security to work toward the ultimate goal of transitioning countries and communities away from the need for U.S. assistance under this Act.

 Improve upon existing monitoring and evaluation practices to ensure the effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

 Require that the Administration report to Congress and to the American people annually about the strategy, its results, and the use of foreign assistance funds.