When Global Citizens come together to help those in need, their hard work pays off. Today, a big step was taken in the fight against extreme hunger and poverty. In July of 2016, President Obama signed the Global Food Security Act into law, and this week, the US government took an important step in its implementation — 12 countries were selected for investment.
The US will now further support Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda as they work to raise their citizens out of extreme hunger and poverty. These countries will partner with the US to harness the power of agriculture to jumpstart their economies and feed their people.
This crucial step forward could not have been accomplished without the hard work of thousands of Global Citizens. Long before the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) was passed in July 2016, Global Citizen mobilized to put pressure on Congress.
Global Citizens wrote thousands of letters to members of Congress and made over 34,000 calls to their local representatives, totaling over 120,000 actions that collectively pushed lawmakers to stand up against extreme hunger by signing the GFSA, legislation that strengthened USAID’s Feed the Future Initiative.
Feed the Future has already helped thousands in need around the world. The initiative has helped nearly 7 million smallholder farmers and producers to improve their crop yields and has reached 12.5 million children with nutrition programs. The GFSA codified this important work, and this next step in strategy implementation means that number of people helped by the act will only grow.
In 2015, Feed the Future helped Honduras farmer Saloman Vasquez double his income through a local project in his village. For years, Vasquez had struggled to provide for his family, but access to better technology and farming products have been instrumental for his survival. Help from Feed the Future means that agricultural workers like Vasquez around the world will be able to avoid food insecurity.
The US plans to build on the previous work of the Feed the Future initiative and lead teams in each target country, working with local stakeholders to review progress, lessons learned, and opportunities for investment and aid. There will be increased focus on nutritional outcomes for women and children, emphasis on developing resilience in each country, and increased oversight and accountability to ensure that efforts are actually effective.
This step forward would have been impossible without the actions and dedication of Global Citizens around the world. When people mobilize for those in need, anything is possible, and this announcement is proof that together we can end extreme hunger around the world.
Every human being has the right to be able to put food on the table, and step by step, we are making this become a reality.