About

About

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

As America's initiative to combat global hunger and poverty, Feed the Future is putting America’s engine of ingenuity and opportunity to work abroad.

The initiative works to give families and communities in some of the world’s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of destitution. By equipping people with the knowledge and tools to feed themselves, we are addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger, helping people end their reliance on aid, and creating important opportunities for a new generation of young people, while building a more stable world.

Our efforts are:

  • Generating economic growth and raising incomes
  • Creating new opportunities for trade in emerging markets
  • Building opportunities for meaningful work for at-risk communities near their homes
  • Boosting agricultural productivity
  • Improving family nutrition, which is essential to mental and physical development and healthy populations
  • Strengthening agricultural research
  • Scaling existing, proven technologies to benefit more people
  • Increasing resilience to prevent recurrent crises and help communities better withstand and bounce back from crises when they do happen

Recognizing that this is a big task, we have brought together the talents and resources of a wide range of partners. Feed the Future is backed by the efforts of 11 U.S. departments and agencies, partner governments around the world, global organizations and leading American businesses, non-profits, universities and research institutions. 

Feed the Future works from farms to markets to tables to improve incomes and nutrition. Our goal is to reduce poverty and childhood stunting (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.

Our approach

Feed the Future uses the best parts of American leadership, entrepreneurship, research, technology and talent to help some of the world’s poorest countries harness the power of agriculture and entrepreneurship to jumpstart their economies and create new opportunities for people at every level of their societies.

We do this by:

  • Engaging the private sector to strengthen markets, scale important technologies and drive sustainable private sector-led economic growth
  • Using our influence and technical expertise to help partner governments update policies and allocate their national resources in ways that will have even greater impact
  • Giving our local partners the tools and knowledge they need to create long-term, locally-led change in their communities
  • Supporting researchers in the United States and abroad to develop new approaches, tools and technologies to boost productivity, combat emerging threats and guide strategic investments
  • Connecting American companies, universities, farmers, ranchers and NGOs to global networks to share our American legacy of agricultural ingenuity and reap the benefits 

We have rallied thousands of partners to back our cause to combat hunger and poverty and, with a relatively small investment of our own, have leveraged billions of dollars in additional investments from our partners to make a real difference in people’s lives.

Read about Feed the Future in our overview fact sheet and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr to learn more.

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 hunger and poverty, there is still more to do. 

Consider the facts:

  • Nearly 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger. Most of this hunger is rooted in poverty.
  • 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.

Where hunger and poverty persist, instability and resentment grow. This was true in 2007 and 2008 when food prices hit record highs and protests broke out around the world, and it remains true today. 

Long-term solutions needed

Feed the Future works with countries and communities to help people, particularly youth, create and find meaningful work near home and sustainably feed themselves and their families.

Our model was born from an understanding that business as usual was not going to create the sustainable, long-term change needed to end chronic hunger and poverty. So, we forged a new approach. Feed the Future brought together partners from across sectors and the U.S. Government to use each of our unique skills and insights in a targeted, coordinated way to change the way food systems operate in countries that were ripe for transformation. We helped rally the global donor community to commit to a set of principles focused on aid effectiveness. We held ourselves to a higher standard of evaluation and accountability for results.

For real transformation to occur, the gains we make need to last. Increasingly, our work helps people who have emerged from poverty and hunger stay out of it and helps communities and countries successfully make it through rough times when they inevitably do occur.

Our progress to date and Feed the Future’s critical contributions to our economic, security and leadership interests have garnered broad bipartisan support, which culminated in the enactment of the Global Food Security Act of 2016 – the most significant piece of development legislation in over a decade.

View the new U.S. Government strategy for global food security to learn more.

Results

Feed the Future has shown that progress in combatting hunger and poverty is possible.

With many partners and a small fraction of the international affairs budget, Feed the Future has expanded opportunity for millions of people, empowered women and girls, and fostered growth that reaches all people, leaving nobody behind.

Among other important achievements, we have:

  • Created nearly 5,000 new public-private partnerships
  • Leveraged more than $600 million in private sector capital investment
  • Helped farmers generate more than $800 million in new agricultural sales in a year
  • Reached 18 million children with nutrition help in a year
  • Helped reduce poverty and malnutrition by up to one-third within places where we work

Visit our Progress page to view all the latest data on our results and sign up to receive our monthly e-newsletter for updates.

Results like these have real and important returns right here at home. Progress today makes us safer, more prosperous and better prepared to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Feed the Future accelerates growth that helps entrepreneurs create wealth and opportunity in poor communities. When we are successful:

  • Incomes rise and links to the American economy are strengthened
  • New customers for American goods are created
  • New opportunities for American companies, farmers and ranchers arise

At every level of our work, whether creating enabling environments for trade, reducing barriers to investment and finance, or boosting productivity, indirect benefits flow to the American public.

Effective & Accountable

As described in the aid-effectiveness 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

The Global Food Security Act of 2016 strengthens Feed the Future’s existing accountability mechanisms and establishes parameters for robust Congressional oversight, monitoring and evaluation of impact.

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 Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Beth Dunford
Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, Assistant to the Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Food Security
U.S. Agency for International Development
Photo of Beth Dunford

Beth Dunford is the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. In this dual role, she coordinates implementation of Feed the Future across the U.S. Government, oversees its execution, reports on results, and leads engagement with the external community to ensure that food security remains high on the development agenda. She also oversees USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving food security to sustainably reduce hunger, poverty and undernutrition.

A career foreign service officer, Dr. Dunford most recently served as director of USAID’s Mission in Nepal, overseeing the country’s massive earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort. Dr. Dunford has also served in Ethiopia and Afghanistan where she directed agriculture, resilience and emergency food assistance programs, as well as in a number of roles in Washington, D.C., including deputy assistant to the administrator in the Bureau for Food Security and senior development advisor to the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
 
Dr. Dunford earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her doctorate in sociology from Michigan State University.
 
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.