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ImpactFood & Hunger

USAID Takes Powerful Strides to Feed the Future

Millions of children year round are left undernourished and stunted. In developing nations where the economy is mostly agro-based and the population’s food is localized, the ability for individuals to sustain themselves can be reduced to farming methods and climate.

As climate change produces more extreme weather, the ability to maintain, produce and maximize harvest outputs is threatened, especially in developing nations.

Ethiopia is one of the many developing nations which has experienced such extreme weather.

Last year, Ethiopians suffered one of the worst droughts on record in the country. There are certain adaptative means, however, to circumscribe these travesties. Education, innovation and steady monetary resource circulation enable harvests to be maintained in spite of climate change. A developing nation’s ability to produce these elements, however, can be limited. Acknowledging this, the US came up with its Gobal Food Security Strategy (GFSS) to alleviate world poverty and improve nutrition.

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The Global Food Security Strategy, released in October 2016, partners government agencies with private sector agencies, civil society, and other donors to help achieve global change through three main goals:inclusive and sustainable agricultural-led economic growth, strengthened resilience among people and systems, and a well-nourished population.

Just this month, USAID released its U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy Implementation Report informing on the progress they’ve made since the strategy’s implementation.

Within the last year, USAID projects poverty has dropped by an average of 19% and childhood stunting by 26%. As US leaders implement more ambitious GFSS Strategies into their Feed the Future Initiative, we can only imagine how much more progress will be achieved in the years to come.

“Already, our programs are strengthening resilience, investing in long-term solutions to food security today to reduce the need for costly food aid in the future by helping countries move beyond aid dependency.”

Since October 2016, the interagency has reported many pivotal strides made in its effort to address the root causes of poverty and hunger.

“Most notably, the interagency has selected 12 Feed the Future target countries; launched the process to develop target-country plans; convened an interagency working group to develop a thoughtful approach to strategic transition [...]; developed a new interagency research strategy; and developed detailed technical guidance to support programmatic design and implementation in the field by using the best practices laid out in the strategy.”

One of the first countries to have GFSS be implemented is Ethiopia. Implementation of the strategy helped mitigate the 2016 drought – the same one that was one of the worst in the country’s history – by making long-term investments in Ethiopia’s target resilience capacity.

Initiatives like these not only benefit those who need it most, but by reducing the need for costly food aid in the future also help our economy by enabling developing nations move beyond aid dependency. A study conducted by the United Kingdom Department for International Development in Kenya and Ethiopia estimated that every $1 invested in resilience will result in nearly $3 of savings by acting preemptively to reduce humanitarian spending.

While much progress has been made in the fight against undernutrition, global food security, and extreme poverty, there are still millions who struggle everyday to find the basic necessities required to live. Within this group, there are a projected 702 million people still living in extreme poverty, nearly 800 million people chronically malnourished, and 159 million children under the age of five who are stunted.

Initiatives like the Global Food Security Strategy are essential to reaching our goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030. In order for this to happen, we must continue on this path of progress. We won’t stop until we’ve ended extreme poverty. With foreign aid being threatened by the White House, it is essential that we act together as Global Citizens. We must work collectively to achieve global change and #StopTheCuts.