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Ensuring Food Security Remains a High-Level Priority

Read the full post on the U.S. Department of State DipNote blog

2011 saw many changes for the Secretary’s Office of Global Food Security and several advances in our international agenda. I joined the growing team in June, and am proud of our progress over the year. I eagerly anticipate more accomplishments as we take the reins of the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) group and through U.S. leadership of the G-8 in 2012. 

AFSI signatories’ endorsement of the L’Aquila Joint Statement on Global Food Security at the 2009 G-8 Summit marked a turning point for international efforts to achieve sustainable global food security. Under the Joint Statement, the United States and other donors agreed to be accountable for delivering a comprehensive approach to improving food security, which entails effective coordination, support for country-owned processes and plans, and engagement of multilateral institutions to promote food security worldwide. President Obama’s L’Aquila pledge of $3.5 billion became Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. These reversed decades of underinvestment in food security, especially agricultural development and preventative nutrition. 

This year Feed the Future continued to build bridges between short- and long-term food security, and demonstrated early signs of success in improving nutrition in early life. Conceived as a new approach to agricultural development, Feed the Future promotes development along the entire agricultural value chain—from farms to markets to consumers—and market growth. Feed the Future encompasses all U.S. government agricultural investments and changes the structure and focus of such investments to avoid a myopic focus on increased food production alone. We also incorporate high-leverage interventions, such as those related to improved nutrition and women’s empowerment. Through this comprehensive approach, Feed the Future is on track to achieve greater success in the short and long term than has been seen from agriculture investments in previous decades. 

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