March 26, 2015, Washington, DC–The Alliance for Global Food Security commends Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) for introducing the Global Food Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 1567), bipartisan legislation that tackles the world hunger challenge by supporting inclusive and sustainable agricultural-led economic growth and improved nutrition in developing countries.
Jonathan Duffy, the President of Adventist Development & Relief Agency International and Chair of the Alliance commented, “Hunger undermines efforts to foster safe, healthy and prosperous societies. We applaud this legislation, which builds on the Obama Administration’s agriculture and food security initiative, Feed the Future, and seeks comprehensive approaches that increase productivity and livelihoods of small-scale producers, improve food systems and reduce hunger and malnutrition.”
Feed the Future has successfully leveraged buy-in and support from governments, nongovernmental organizations and private sector companies and is already producing results in 19 focus countries. Continued, multi-year investments and fine-tuning are necessary to expand the impact and build local capacity, particularly in areas where food insecurity and poverty are twin challenges.
“As the legislation moves forward,” Mr. Duffy added, “we encourage Congress to include provisions that increase opportunities to conduct programs that target poor, resource-constrained producers and less well-off communities. This will make it possible to reach the objectives of scalability, inclusive agricultural growth and improved nutritional status of women and children.”
“Food security” means all people at all times have access to and consume sufficient, nutritious food for a productive, healthful life. It encompasses the availability of food through production and trade, access to and affordability of those foods, the consumption of a nutritious diet and the body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients.
Much of Feed the Future’s work has been with beneficiaries who, even if they are classified as smallholder farmers, have more assets and access to goods and services than poorer farmers and rural populations living in marginalized areas. For less well-off communities, more extensive engagement is necessary to solve underlying barriers to food security and to facilitate the adoption of improved technologies and integration into agricultural and food marketing systems. Many private voluntary organizations have this expertise, which can be tapped to improve impact and sustainable development in poor communities.
The Alliance is comprised of private voluntary organizations that are committed to sustainable development and addressing hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. They implement programs in partnership with local communities, governments, enterprises and institutions in developing countries.