Washington, DC- U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and John Boozman (R-AR) introduced the Global Food Security Act of 2014 to combat hunger across the globe, improve nutrition in developing countries, and bolster U.S. security. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 805 million people, or 1 in 9, around world suffer from chronic hunger. A lack of adequate, nutritious food can harm the development of young children and can contribute to instability in some countries.
“Global food insecurity can have a devastating impact on vulnerable children and can impact our national security,” Senator Casey said. “This legislation will give the Administration the tools and resources it needs to better combat chronic hunger and malnutrition, as well as promote stability in developing nations.”
"Feed the Future is based on the adage, ‘teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,’” Senator Johanns said. “This legislation is designed to help hungry nations around the world develop smart, long-term, country-specific ag policy. The goal is to help these nations independently meet the nutrition needs of their people.”
"Food insecurity has a crippling effect in communities in the developing world, and a heartbreaking impact on families," Senator Coons said. "The Feed the Future program has begun reducing the need for emergency food assistance and should be made a permanent part of our government's global development strategy. By working with local farmers to improve their processes, we're helping to stabilize food production and enhance self-sufficiency. Congress should help USAID strengthen this program and help more communities strengthen their food security."
“Chronic hunger continues to be a critical problem that has a particularly devastating effect on children,” said Senator Isakson. “This legislation helps promote sustainable solutions to fight food insecurity throughout the developing world.”
“Proper nutrition is not just important to individual health, it is critical to the long-term health and success of nations,” said Senator Cardin. “What we are trying to do is much bigger than simply giving food to the poor and hungry—we are trying to change economies – end the cycle of hunger and poverty – by transforming how people farm and what people eat.”
“Food insecurity knows no boundaries, but the good news is it is preventable and we are in a position to help. The U.S. has made significant contributions to improve nutrition and agriculture worldwide. This bill continues our commitment by helping combat chronic hunger and malnutrition which often fuels instability in developing nations,” Senator Boozman said.
One in nine people around the world suffer from chronic hunger, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The January 2014 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community reported that the “lack of adequate food will be a destabilizing factor in countries important to U.S. national security.” Malnutrition and food insecurity stunt the mental and physical growth of future generations, which results in considerable social and economic costs.
In 2010, the United States Government launched Feed the Future (FTF), an initiative designed to expand and better coordinate United States’ investments in improving global food security. Feed the Future is a whole-of-government approach that focuses on the dual objectives of improving farmer productivity, income, and livelihoods in developing countries and improving the nutrition of women and children.
The Casey- Johanns Global Food Security Act of 2014 would do the following:
- Recognize that global food insecurity impacts not only developing nations’ economies and productivity, but the global economy and U.S. national security.
- Highlight the role that agricultural development plays in inclusive economic growth, especially for women and small-scale producers.
- Require the Administration to develop a whole-of-government strategy to address global food insecurity and malnutrition.
- Emphasize the importance of leveraging resources and expertise from U.S. academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, private voluntary organizations, and the private sector.
- 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.
- Authorize appropriations to carry out international development assistance programs and activities under the strategy.