In 2000, world leaders came together at the United Nations to agree to a set of eight Millennium Development Goals, the world’s first global development agenda. As their 2015 deadline approaches, world leaders gather again this fall at the U.N. General Assembly to review progress and discuss and define a post-2015 global development agenda.
High-level meetings around the U.N. General Assembly each year provide opportunities for international actors to address pressing global issues like hunger and poverty.
Key events around the 2013 U.N. General Assembly will focus on progress toward global food security in areas such as nutrition, country ownership and private sector investment, civil society engagement, and women’s empowerment. A new model of development pioneered through Feed the Future is advancing impact in these areas.
Join us this September and learn more. You’ll find more information, resources and events below.
Momentum is building around the world for improving global nutrition. Nutrition is directly related to success in achieving many MDGs, and a post-2015 development agenda provides an opportunity to include greater emphasis on nutrition.
The United States is committed to the fight against poor nutrition, integrating programs across sectors (such as agriculture) to achieve impact and focusing specifically on the critical first 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. In fact, we’re working on a whole-of-government nutrition strategy to improve the coordination, integration and impact of our nutrition commitments.
And we aren’t alone—countries are increasingly recognizing the importance of nutrition and bringing it to the forefront of their own national strategies for development.
Did you know that if women farmers had equal access to resources as men, they could increase global food production by as much as 30 percent?
The U.S. Government works to empower women at home and abroad to help them grow their economies, strengthen their communities, and solve problems like food insecurity.
Just this month, USAID and the world’s largest retailer, Walmart, signed a global Memorandum of Understanding committing to work together in support of women’s economic empowerment. The partnership, which will kick off in Bangladesh and help 40,000 women farmers there play a more prominent role in agricultural production and marketing, also advances Feed the Future’s goals.
Feed the Future helps women farmers develop the skills and resources they need to accelerate agricultural development in their communities and ultimately economic development in their countries.
The U.S. Government can’t end poverty and hunger alone. We need partners in the private sector, civil society, and research community too.
Engaging Civil Society
Effective and sustainable progress against hunger and poverty requires inclusive engagement with groups outside of government, both international and local—particularly civil society organizations (CSOs) who are partners in program implementation, have strong linkages with local communities, bring their own private resources, and develop innovative interventions tailored to local needs.
To further deepen Feed the Future’s dialogue and partnership with CSOs, last September former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton invited civil society partners to help develop a Feed the Future Civil Society Action Plan.
Civil society partners came together in a working group as part of the Advisory Committee on Voluntary ForeignAffairs to provide recommendations and input on this plan. The working group recently presented their recommendations at the fall ACVFA meeting.
This September around the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama will host a civil society roundtable. Follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #stand4civilsociety. Watch live on the White House website on Monday, September 23 at 3 p.m. EDT.
The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, launched a year and a half ago, brings African governments, the private sector and G8 donors together to accelerate investment in African agriculture with the goal of lifting 50 million people out of poverty by 2022.
This partnership isn’t just about dollars, but about doing development differently. Countries are taking the lead, enacting policy reforms that enable them to harness the private sector as an engine of growth. And all partners are meeting regularly to review and report on progress, including this fall.
But private sector investment in development goes beyond the New Alliance. In fact, USAID recently announced a new partnership with Walmart. A key aspect of this global partnership is to support Feed the Future goals and help connect smallholder farmers around the world with markets.
The role of foreign aid is shifting. While it was once used to replace missing capital in developing countries, aid can be better spent to enable private capital to achieve multiple bottom lines.
USAID is working directly with multinational and local companies and banks to harness the private sector to accelerate development and growth. Its Development Credit Authority has already opened up to $2.7 billion in private sector financing, including working with JPMorgan and five other partners on a first-of-its-kind effort to invest $25 million in small- and medium-sized game changing agribusinesses in East Africa.
To further explore the state of impact investing as a complement to government funding, JPMorgan is hosting an event around this year’s U.N. General Assembly.
During the event, panelists Tony Blair, Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will discuss using innovative finance to address social needs in Africa.
Tune in via Twitter by following @USAID_Credit and the hashtag #ImpInv at 5:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 23. A recording of the event will be available afterward. Check back for updates later this week.
As President Obama said in his address to the 2013 U.N. General Assembly, these are extraordinary times with extraordinary opportunities. He saw firsthand in Africa how America is partnering with nations to help them feed the hungry, care for the sick, and bring power to places off the grid.
We know these issues are important to you, too. Let us know what you are doing to support the vision of a world in which hunger, poverty and undernutrition are no longer obstacles to shared prosperity and growth.