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Amidst global food crisis brought on by war in Ukraine, Senators introduce legislation to reauthorize global food program for five years

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Global Food Security Act, which reauthorizes the Feed the Future Initiative, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. The legislation, which would extend the program through 2028, comes as the world is grappling with an international food crisis, in part because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Together, Ukraine and Russia export nearly a third of the world’s wheat and barley.

“Putin’s war in Ukraine exacerbated a global food crisis, and families around the globe are going to bed without enough to eat,” said Senator Casey. “Food security leads to global stability and the United States has a moral obligation to eradicate global hunger. The Feed the Future Initiative is reaching millions of people around the world and I’m proud to introduce this bill with Senator Risch to continue this American success story.”

“No nation on Earth has done more to reduce global hunger and stimulate agriculture-led economic growth than the United States. The ingenuity of American farmers has transformed global agriculture, reduced poverty, and ultimately saved a billion lives. I’m proud to support this work, including the Feed the Future public-private partnership with the University of Idaho on blight resistant potatoes,” said Risch. “As world leaders like Putin use food as a weapon, it’s more important than ever to help people combat food insecurity and grow their way out of poverty. The Global Food Security Act Reauthorization that I’ve introduced with Senator Casey today provides a roadmap to deliver emergency assistance when and where it’s needed most, then help people transition away from dependence to self-reliance.”

“Russia’s brutal and unjustified invasion of the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ has crippled food supplies worldwide, putting tens of millions of people at risk of starvation and causing food prices to soar here at home,” said Senator Coons. “As Chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m proud to have helped secure billions of dollars for food aid in our most recent emergency funding package, but there’s far more to do. Reauthorizing the Feed the Future Initiative is a critical step that will further address food insecurity and ensure that the United States continues to lead the way in preventing famine.”

“The high cost of food has complicated humanitarian efforts to help those suffering from food insecurity at a time when the world is seeing those most in need being the most severely impacted. Food insecurity knows no boundaries but is preventable, and the United States is in a position to help. I’m pleased to support legislation reauthorizing the Feed the Future Initiative so we can deploy tools and education to combat hunger and malnutrition while promoting global stability,” Senator Boozman said.

The Global Food Security Act, which was first introduced by Senator Casey in 2008, was passed into law in 2016 and reauthorized in 2018 for five years. The legislation introduced today would extend the law for another five years.

Specifically, the Global Food Security Act:

  • Requires 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.
  • Ensures 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.
  • Improves upon existing monitoring and evaluation practices to ensure the effective use of U.S. taxpayer dollars.
  • Requires that the Administration report to Congress and to the American people annually about the strategy, its results and the use of foreign assistance funds.
  • Authorizes appropriations through 2028 to carry out international development assistance programs and activities under the strategy.
  • This five-year reauthorization would ensure that these oversight measures are authorized through 2028.