NEW LEGISLATION TACKLES GLOBAL HUNGER AND IMPROVES FOOD SECURITY
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.
Congress Supports Food Security, Food Aid
December 11, 2014
In the final FY 2015 appropriations bill, Congress is more generous to global food security and food aid compared to Pres. Obama’s FY 2015 budget request, as shown in this FY 2013-FY 2015 funding chart.
First US-Africa Leaders Summit
Washington, DC — From August 4-6, 2014, President Obama is convening the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit where leaders from 50 countries, Members of Congress and non-governmental and business leaders will discuss governance and investment in Africa and promoting peace and stability. Senator Debbie Stabenow asked the President to put food security and agriculture high on that agenda.
ENSURE Food Security Team Releases Quarterly Activities Report
WASHINGTON, DC – On July 17, 2014, the Alliance for Global Food Safety (AGFS) received an important message from David Evans, Chief of Party for the ENSURE Food Program in Zimbabwe.
We are happy to share with you yet another edition of the ENSURE newsletter with a brief update on our programs’ progress to date. The ENSURE food security team geared up in FY14 Q3 and are now in full scale implementation mode.
With a focus on improved nutrition for women and children, increased household income via improved agricultural production and marketing, and building the capacity of communities to be better prepared for and mitigate shocks, the ENSURE program began its food distributions to pregnant and lactating women and children between 6 to 24 months as well as to food for asset workers. Village Savings and Loan groups and Producer groups have been formed while the Care groups are at their formative stage.
A USAID delegation from the Zimbabwe and Washington offices graced the program activities in a successful site visit in the Chimanimani and Buhera districts in late June.
Please find the FY14 Q3 newsletter highlighting the full complement of ENSURE activities which are now underway.
Food for Peace Advocates Celebrate 60 Years of Global Dividends
WASHINGTON, DC — On July 9, 2014, the Alliance for Global Food Safety (AGFS) and partner organizations hosted a celebratory event marking the 60th anniversary of Public Law 480, an act signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to fight world hunger.
We invite you to visit the Agri-Pulse website for event photos and a more detailed account of the evening’s activities.
Development Organizations Urge Passage of the New Farm Bill
Washington, DC—The Alliance for Global Food Security urges Congress to pass the Agricultural Act of 2014, which reauthorizes international food aid programs that provide critical assistance to 60 million people a year—Food for Peace (PL 480), Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs. Importantly, under the PL 480 Title II donation program, at least $350 million is provided each year for development-focused food aid programs that improve the nutrition, agricultural productivity and incomes of poor, malnourished populations. Helping people become self-reliant is the smart way of improving food aid effectiveness in poor communities and crisis-prone areas.
The bill provides added flexibility in a variety of ways such as allowing PL 480 Title II funds to be used to support logistics and development activities in cases where monetization is not a good option; expanding pre-positioning of food commodities at strategic locations for more rapid emergency response; enhancing the quality of food products to meet the special nutritional needs of very young, malnourished children; and authorizing $80 million for USDA to implement Local-Regional Procurement programs. In addition, through the innovative Food for Progress program, agricultural systems in developing countries are strengthened, improving the quality and quantity of food, increasing incomes and spurring broad-based economic growth.
The Alliance is comprised of private voluntary organizations that are committed to addressing hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. They operate in over 100 developing countries, implementing emergency and development programs that build the capacity of local communities, enterprises and institutions.
Common Sense Food Aid Policies and Funding Levels in the 2014 Appropriations Bill
January 16, 2014, Washington, DC — The Alliance for Global Food Security praised the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Bill for providing realistic budgets for international food aid programs, incorporating common-sense policies that ensure greater program effectiveness, and helping 55 million people who suffer from hunger. Congress is expected to pass the Bill as an amendment to H.R. 3547, and send it to President Barack Obama for his signature by January 18, 2014.
Crispian Kirk, Chair of the Alliance and President & CEO of Opportunities Industrialization Centers International, said, “We thank Congress for funding food aid programs at a level that will allow the United States to meet emergency needs and to support forward-thinking programs that reduce child malnutrition and build the capacity of poor households to meet their own needs. We urge the Obama Administration and Congress to continue the bill’s practical approach of keeping the time-tested Food for Peace Act (PL 480) as the core food aid program, giving greater support to development-focused food aid within that account, and providing flexibility to buy foods locally or regionally for emergencies under the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account.”
In the agriculture division of the Bill, $1.47 billion is appropriated for PL 480 Title II, which donates U.S. agricultural commodities and fortified foods to alleviate hunger during emergencies and to improve nutrition and food security of poor, malnourished populations. In the foreign operations division of the bill, and $1.8 billion is appropriated for the IDA Account, part of which is used for local or regional procurement of food products and cash distribution during emergencies.
Ellen Levinson, Executive Director of the Alliance, observed, “The PL 480 and IDA funds combined are $1.2 billion more than the Obama Administration’s 2014 budget request, which had no funds for PL 480 and $2.05 billion for International Disaster Assistance. Considering the many millions of people suffering from deep-rooted hunger in areas that are easily destabilized and who urgently need assistance because of wars and natural disasters, sufficient funding for both PL 480 and IDA is required.”
Mr. Kirk pointed out that of the PL 480 Title II funds, the Bill assures a minimum of $375 million will be used for development programs that provide food aid and also improve nutrition, agriculture, resilience and incomes in areas where hunger and child malnutrition are prevalent. He said, “Increasing the use of food aid in programs that also help people become self-reliant is the smart way of improving effectiveness, particularly in poor communities and crisis-prone areas.”
The Alliance also praised the innovative approach of providing flexibility to use $35 million of Title II funds for the types of development activities that can be conducted with monetized proceeds. In cases where monetization would not be beneficial to a recipient country, flexibility for direct cash support for development activities that improve program impact makes sense.
The Alliance commended continued funding of McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs at a level similar to 2013, $185 million. By providing school meals and improving the educational environment and community participation, these programs increase school enrollment and attendance.
In addition, Alliance members praised the allocation of $1.1 billion of bilateral economic assistance funds for improving agricultural and food systems as part of the Obama Administration’s global hunger and food security initiative called “Feed the Future.” These funds assist developing countries that have well-designed agriculture and food security action plans and are committing resources to improve their agricultural economies and the incomes and productivity of rural populations and small farmers. Under the Global Health account, $115 million is allocated for nutrition programs, an important component of both global health and food security strategies.
Alliance members are private voluntary organizations that are committed to addressing hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity. They operate in over 100 developing countries, implementing emergency and development programs that build the capacity of local communities, enterprises and institutions.
Roll Call | Commentary – Let’s Enact Food Aid Reform That Works
Washington, DC—Congress has the chance to enact legislation that will both cultivate the fields in developing countries and guarantee that food assistance is available to the most vulnerable. It is time to come together to support a package of reforms that will work on the ground and ensure a strong constituency for American food assistance. It is not a question of whether one approach is better than the other; a variety of approaches are needed to fight hunger and meet food needs.
Food Aid Reform Alternative Approach
Washington, DC—The Alliance for Global Food Security recommends a set of food aid reforms that would achieve greater flexibility for local procurement of commodities for emergencies and accommodate the need for cash to complement developmental food aid programs without sacrificing the transparent, reliable and effective Food for Peace Act.
AGFS Supports Reauthorization of International Food Aid in the Farm Bill
May 13, 2013, Washington, DC—The Alliance for Global Food Security thanks the House and Senate agriculture committees for reauthorizing the international food assistance programs in their respective Farm Bills, which will be marked up this week. The members of the Alliance for Global Food Security are humanitarian and development organizations – typically called “private voluntary organizations” or “PVOs” by the U.S. Government – that conduct community-based agriculture, nutrition and food security programs in 100 countries. Over the years, our members have worked closely with fellow practitioners, implementing partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to review and improve U.S. food assistance programs.
Food Aid Reforms That Work
April 10, 2013, Washington, DC—The Alliance for Global Food Security supports greater flexibility and efficiency in food aid programs, but does not believe that dismantling or bypassing the reliable and effective Food for Peace program will achieve that goal, as proposed in President Obama’s “Food Aid Reforms” presented in the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget proposal. The Alliance urged reforms that would maximize benefits and flexibility, without jeopardizing the availability of food aid, and have put forth a set of recommended changes that would achieve those purposes.
Alliance Recommends Food Aid Reform
Alliance for Global Food Security
April 8, 2013, Washington, DC—The Alliance for Global Food Security recommends a set of reforms for improving U.S. food aid, while assuring the U.S. remains the largest donor of both U.S. commodities and cash for procuring food locally or regionally to meet emergency and chronic needs. AGFS warns that recipients will not be better served by shifting all food aid funds to flexible cash accounts and local-regional purchase is not necessarily a “low-cost” alternative to U.S. food aid donations.
Multi-Sector Letter to Congressional Committees Seeks Support for International Food Aid
March 22, 2013, Washington, DC—Congressional Committees with jurisdiction over food aid received a letter from 84 labor, industry, agriculture and development organizations seeking to maintain funding for Food for Peace and Food for Progress.
AGFS Testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations
March 20, 2013, Washington, DC—Madam Chairwoman, in the FY 2014 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, the Alliance for Global Food Security urges the House Appropriations Committee to maintain funding for Global Food Security, Agriculture and Nutrition. The Alliance also urges full funding for International Development Assistance, under which up to $366 million is available for emergency food aid, including through local-regional procurement. The Alliance is comprised of private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and cooperatives that are actively engaged in humanitarian and development operations in over 100 countries worldwide, supporting efforts of local populations to improve their health, living conditions and livelihoods. The members of the Alliance are: Adventist Development & Relief Agency International, ACDI/VOCA, Congressional Hunger Center, Counterpart International, Food for the Hungry, Joint Aid Management, International Relief & Development, Land O’Lakes, OIC International, Planet Aid, PCI, Salesian Missions, United Methodist Committee on Relief and World Vision.
AGFS Testimony Before the for House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee
March 20, 2013, Washington, DC—Mr. Chairman, in the FY 2014 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, the Alliance for Global Food Security urges the House Appropriations Committee to maintain the FY 2012 funding levels for PL 480 Title II ($1.466 billion) and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program ($184 million). Of the Title II funds, we urge the Committee to support maintaining at least the current minimum level for developmental programs ($400 million), which improve child nutrition, help crisis-prone communities move from subsistence to self-reliance and reduce the need for emergency aid. The Alliance is comprised of private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and cooperatives that are actively engaged in humanitarian and development operations in over 100 countries worldwide, supporting efforts of local populations to improve their health, living conditions and livelihoods. The members of the Alliance are: Adventist Development & Relief Agency International, ACDI/VOCA, Congressional Hunger Center, Counterpart International, Food for the Hungry, Joint Aid Management, International Relief & Development, Land O’Lakes, OIC International, Planet Aid, PCI, Salesian Missions, United Methodist Committee on Relief and World Vision.
AGFS Testimony to Congress
Alliance for Global Food Security
March 20, 2013, Washington, DC–The Alliance for Global Food Security, comprised of non-governmental organizations that conduct development programs in 100 countries, supports global food security, agriculture development and food aid funding in testimony to House Appropriations Subcommittees.
Development Organizations Support Food Aid
Alliance for Global Food Security
February 26, 2013
In a letter to the White House budget office, the Alliance for Global Food Security urged maintaining the funding and structure of Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs.
American Constituency for International Food Aid is Strong
Alliance for Global Food Security
February 22, 2013
In a letter to President Obama over seventy agricultural, transportation, labor and humanitarian organizations support the Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs.
Why Food Aid Works
IRD, February 13, 2013–Alliance for Global Food Security Executive Director Ellen Levinson describes the impact of the programs that can result from Title II/ Food Aid programs abroad. Why Food Aid Works
Food Aid Works Because… Part III
IRD – February 11, 2013–Ellen Levinson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Food Security, explains how Title II food aid programs often have better cost recovery… Food Aid Works Because… Part III – International Relief & Development.
Food Aid Works Because…
IRD-February 11, 2013–Ellen Levinson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Food Security, describes why Title II programs/ international food aid programs work. Food Aid Works Because… – International Relief & Development
WFP: 1.6 Million in Need of Food Aid in Somalia…
World Food Programme
The World Food Program (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis…WFP: 1.6 Million in Need of Food Aid in Somalia – United Nations…
Mozambique Hit by Floods
In the worst flooding since 2000, when an estimated 800 people died, Mozambique is once again facing a humanitarian disaster.
Monetization Study has Implications for Reauthorization of Food Aid Programs in Farm Bill
Washington, DC, November 27, 2012 – The Informa Economics study of the “Value of Food Aid Monetization: Benefits, Risks and Best Practices” (link to report HERE) found that monetization generates multiple benefits in the recipient country and that by selling the commodity for a fair market value, as called for in the House Farm Bill, it is unlikely to disrupt commercial trade.
Food aid commodities may be distributed overseas or “monetized” – sold in a food deficit country and the proceeds used to support development activities. About 85% of food aid commodities are distributed and the remainder is monetized. All distribution and monetization programs are planned in advance and must be approved by either the U.S. Agency for International Development or Department of Agriculture before they can take place.
Inform conducted an in-depth evaluation of monetization programs conducted by private voluntary organizations and cooperatives. It found that due to the practices used when designing and implementing the programs, monetization did not interfere with local production or displace commercial sales. Instead, “Monetization can lead to benefits beyond those that would be created via direct program funding by addressing credit, hard currency, small volume, and other constraints to buying on the international market, thereby creating business opportunities and increasing the availability of the commodity in the recipient country.”
Therefore, providing the commodity through the marketing system of the recipient country produces a variety of benefits, which, according to Ellen Levinson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Global Food Security, “should be the leading reason for monetization. The bottom line from a policy perspective is that cost recovery does not measure the value of food aid monetization.”
Ms. Levinson commented, “Hopefully, this study will dispel the notion that food aid is somehow ‘inferior’ to providing cash directly to conduct programs. At the most basic level, monetization has a double benefit in a food insecure country: it provides a commodity that is in short supply and generates funds to carry out programs that improve food security and economic development. What’s most revealing from the Informa study is that the design of a monetization program can also address market constraints, stimulate economic activity or improve the quality of the food supply.”
The Alliance for Global Food Security believes that the House Farm Bill monetization provisions make sense. The bill clarifies that the sale of the commodity should be for the fair market value in the recipient country, which mitigates chances of displacing commercial trade. In addition, it requires identification of the benefits of monetization to the country where the sale takes place and calls for greater USDA and USAID coordination, since both agencies administer food aid programs.
The Informa Monetization Study was commissioned by the Alliance for Global Food Security, a coalition of fourteen private voluntary organizations and cooperatives that are engaged in food aid, agriculture, nutrition and food security programs in over 100 developing countries. The Alliance pulls together the practical experience of its members to develop recommendations for effective food aid and food security policies and programs.
To learn more about food aid please visit www.foodaid.org
What is Monetization?
Food aid may be distributed directly to target populations or may be sold and the proceeds used to support program-related costs and developmental activities, such as training, technology transfer and incentives for behavior change. The sale and use of proceeds for these purposes is called “monetization.” Click here to read more about monetization.