About

About

Feed the Future was born of the belief that global hunger is solvable.

As the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, we’re transforming lives toward a world where people no longer face the agony and injustice of extreme poverty, undernutrition and hunger. 

To achieve this, Feed the Future agencies work hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger. Not only is this the smart thing to do, as it promotes global prosperity and stability, it’s also the right thing to do.

Our assistance is helping:

  • Increase agricultural productivity and generate opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries
  • Boost the harvests and incomes of rural smallholder farmers, who are the key to unlocking agricultural growth and transforming economies
  • Improve agricultural research and development and get existing, proven technologies to more people
  • Increase resilience to prevent recurrent crises and help communities better withstand and bounce back from crises when they do happen

Feed the Future works from farms to markets to tables to improve incomes and nutrition. Our goal is to reduce the prevalence of poverty and the prevalence of stunted children (a measure of undernutrition) each by 20 percent in the areas where we work. This means more families will be able to lift themselves out of poverty and pay for things like nutritious food, education and health care.

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Our approach

Hunger and poverty don’t have to be with us forever. We’re forging long-term solutions by:

  • Supporting the food security priorities of our partner countries and helping build their capacity for sustainable development
  • Promoting collaboration at the U.S. and international levels
  • Empowering women, who are vital to driving agricultural growth
  • Embracing innovative partnerships with the private sectorcivil society and the research community
  • Fostering policy environments that enable private investment
  • Advancing big ideas and climate-smart agriculture through research and innovation
  • Integrating agriculture and nutrition, with a particular focus on mothers and children
  • Maximizing cost-effective results that create the conditions where our assistance is no longer needed

By not only doing what’s right, but doing the right things well, our generation can end poverty and leave a legacy of shared progress and prosperity.

Learn more about Feed the Future in our overview fact sheet and guide

An Urgent Need

Hunger and poverty are inextricably linked, robbing people of healthy and productive lives and stunting the mental and physical development of future generations. While the world has made enormous progress in reducing global poverty, there is still much more to do.

Consider the facts:

  • Nearly 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger. That’s 1 in 8 people. Most of this hunger is rooted in poverty.
  • By 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow to more than 9 billion people. This will require at least a 60 percent increase in agricultural production to feed all of us.
  • 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries. Most people who live in these areas rely directly on agriculture for their livelihoods, particularly women.
  • Studies show that growth in the agriculture sector is, on average, at least twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors.

A more food-secure, nourished world, able to feed itself and the future, is essential to the long-term prosperity of individuals, communities, economies and nations. Our investments in economic growth, poverty reduction, and improved health in developing countries—in support of their development priorities—promote global stability and are critical to U.S. national prosperity and security.

Long-term solutions needed

Take for example 2009. Global food price spikes in 2007 and 2008, coupled with global economic and financial challenges and longstanding underinvestment in food security, had dramatically increased the number of poor and hungry people in the world—jeopardizing progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

The United States took swift action, offering assistance to help hard-hit developing countries meet immediate humanitarian needs and stimulate agricultural growth, but more needed to be done to address long-term issues that were contributing to cycles of crises and chronic food insecurity. 

U.S. Government Response

During the 2009 G-8 Summit in Italy, President Obama called on global leaders to reverse the decades-long decline in investment in agriculture and strengthen global efforts to reduce poverty, hunger and undernutrition.

To lead the way, the United States pledged $3.5 billion to this effort over three years, which helped leverage an additional $18.5 billion in support from G-8 members and other donors. The U.S. contribution to this global commitment came to be called “Feed the Future.”

Along with this increase in resources, donors also committed to do development differently and follow the Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security, a set of aid effectiveness principles adopted by the global community.

Advancing food security

Feed the Future has come a long way since then. In September 2012, the U.S. Government met its initial monetary pledge of $3.5 billion. We also issued our first progress report and scorecard in October 2012 and second in June 2013.

In May 2012, with African heads of state and corporate and G-8 leaders, President Obama led global food security efforts to the next stage by announcing the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a shared commitment to achieving sustained and inclusive agricultural growth and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa. As with the 2009 global food security commitment, Feed the Future is the principal vehicle through which the United States contributes to the G-8 New Alliance.

While we are proud of our leadership and commitment in these efforts, we know there is much more to be done: 842 million chronically hungry people is still 842 million too many.

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Rome Principles

As described in the Rome Principles, we commit to work in partnership to:

  • Invest in country-owned plans that support results-based programs and partnerships, so assistance is tailored to the needs of individual countries, through consultative processes and plans that are developed and led by country governments
  • Strengthen strategic coordination to mobilize and align the resources of the diverse partners and stakeholders—including the private sector and civil society—needed to achieve our common objectives
  • Ensure a comprehensive approach that accelerates inclusive agriculture-led growth and improves nutrition, while also bridging humanitarian relief and sustainable development efforts
  • Leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions so priorities and approaches are aligned, investments coordinated, and financial and technical assistance gaps filled
  • Deliver on sustained and accountable commitments, phasing in investments responsibly to ensure returns, using benchmarks and targets to measure progress toward shared goals, and holding ourselves and other stakeholders publicly accountable for achieving results

Learn more about the Rome Principles for Sustainable Global Food Security (pdf).

Who is Feed the Future?

Country Partners

The U.S. Government cannot do all things, do them well, and do them everywhere. That’s why we’re striving for a meaningful, sustained impact in more focused locations. We currently target efforts in 19 focus countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our focus countries, in consultation with stakeholders, set agricultural development and food security priorities in actionable, comprehensive national development and investment plans. These plans guide our investments and provide a foundation for our partner countries to accelerate their progress toward achieving the first Millennium Development Goal. 

Government Agencies

Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, Feed the Future draws on the agricultural, trade, investment, development and policy resources and expertise of 11 federal agencies. We’re putting whole-of-government into practice. 

Leaders

Feed the Future has two deputy coordinators who lead the initiative, helping us improve the way we work toward a common vision.

Our deputy coordinator for development at USAID drives the interagency process, ensuring relevant U.S. Government agencies and departments are engaged in formulating policies, strategies and monitoring criteria for Feed the Future.

Our deputy coordinator for diplomacy leads diplomatic efforts to advance our priorities, focusing on policy coordination among major donors, strategic partners, the G-8, the G-20, and international organizations.

Tjada D'Oyen McKenna
Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, Acting Assistant to the Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security
U.S. Agency for International Development
Photo of Tjada McKenna

Tjada D'Oyen McKenna is the deputy coordinator for development for Feed the Future, as well as the acting assistant to the administrator in USAID's Bureau for Food Security.

McKenna coordinates implementation of Feed the Future across the U.S. Government, oversees its execution and reports on results, and leads engagement with the external community to ensure that food security remains high on the development agenda. In her capacity as acting assistant to the administrator, she also oversees USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving food security to sustainably reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

McKenna joined USAID in 2010 and previously served as deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau for Food Security, where she oversaw critical elements of USAID's implementation of Feed the Future including the development of country strategies and implementation plans, engagement with the private sector, and other market development and innovation efforts. She previously held senior positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Monsanto, McKinsey & Company, American Express and GE. 

McKenna earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School. She is a past member of the National Board of Directors - Girl Scouts of the USA.

Nancy Stetson
Special Representative for Global Food Security, Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future
U.S. Department of State
Photo of Nancy Stetson

Nancy Stetson was sworn in as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Food Security on June 23, 2014. As head of the Secretary’s Office of Global Food Security she is responsible for leading all aspects of U.S. diplomacy related to food security and nutrition, including in support of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s flagship global hunger and food security initiative; the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition; and the 1,000 Days Partnership. Stetson’s diplomatic efforts to advance global food security and nutrition will target donors, developing countries, emerging economies, multilateral organizations, civil society, and the private sector.

Stetson is a veteran of Capitol Hill, having worked for 26 years in the Senate, as senior foreign policy advisor to then-Senator John Kerry and as a professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She advised Senator Kerry on all national security, trade and foreign policy issues, providing strategic analysis and policy guidance, and developing policy positions and legislative initiatives. Throughout her tenure, she managed a spectrum of legislation and policy positions for Senator Kerry and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Asia, Africa, the operations and budget of the State Department, the United Nations, global health, and human rights.

During her time in the Senate, Stetson traveled extensively in Africa and Asia, building expertise in the importance of food security to human and economic development. She was essential to some of the U.S. government’s major foreign policy achievements. During the 1980s she lead successful legislative efforts to protect and increase development assistance to Africa, as well as efforts to impose sanctions on South Africa to end apartheid. She formulated the legislative pieces and strategy for Senator Kerry’s efforts, with Senator John McCain, to move President Clinton to lift the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam and normalize relations. She spearheaded bipartisan efforts to address HIV/AIDS and other deadly infectious diseases by drafting and negotiating the legislation sponsored by Senator Kerry and then-Senator William Frist which became the foundation for PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) under the administration of President George W. Bush.

Before joining the State Department, Stetson worked in the private sector as the vice president for policy and client services at The Sheridan Group, which specializes in promoting the missions of nonprofit organizations. She also worked for the House Appropriations Committee.

Stetson holds a doctorate in political science from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in political science from Wellesley College.