Home Agriculture 4 Responses from the US Government to the Global Food Security Crisis

4 Responses from the US Government to the Global Food Security Crisis

The United States government's Feed the Future program, run by USAID, aims to eradicate world hunger.

Feed the Future private sector partner, Sanergy, works with smallholder farmers to transform organic waste into fertilizer. / Sanergy

A historic food security catastrophe is currently plaguing the whole planet. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has made the trifecta of COVID-19, climate change, and protracted conflict worse. The price of food, gasoline, and fertilizer has increased for these reasons on a worldwide scale. More than 20 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia who live in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa are at risk of being hungry to the point of death. According to reports, Somalia might experience a famine in October.

Leaders must provide life-saving aid in the face of today’s crisis while simultaneously addressing the root causes to hasten community recovery and adaptation. Through its Feed the Future project, the United States has been making long-term investments that help communities cope with unforeseen shocks while increasing agricultural output, reducing hunger, and improving nutrition.

The extension of Feed the Future into eight more target nations was announced by President Biden, increasing the total number of participating nations for the project to 20. A bipartisan bill with an additional $760 million to counteract the consequences of rising food, gasoline, and fertilizer costs was signed by President Biden as part of this promise.

In an effort to spur action to address the problem, the U.S. government will co-host the Global Food Security Summit today on the margins of the UN General Assembly. During his speech to the General Assembly, President Biden will also make fresh pledges, expanding on the $2.76 billion he committed at the G7.

Feed the Future is increasing its efforts to #EndHunger in the following 4 ways:

#1. Reducing the worldwide deficit of fertilizer

One of the items that have been most severely impacted by the price increase is fertilizer. The International Food Policy Research Institute anticipated that the main causes of poverty and famine in rural sub-Saharan Africa will be high prices for fuel and fertilizer rather than food. Global fertilizer costs have increased by 200% since the epidemic began, virtually doubling from their already-historic highs in the past year.

Farmers plant fewer crops of food as fertilizer costs rise. This lowers family finances, employment possibilities, and access to nutritious food. These effects will be felt for years to come if they are not addressed.

By collaborating with our partners to get the fertilizer into the hands of communities who need it the most, Feed the Future is addressing this shortfall. We help farmers utilize various kinds of soil fertilizers and educate them on how to use them effectively.

More than 100,000 smallholder farmers in Ghana will get fertilizer thanks to a partnership between USAID, the fertilizer business Yara International, and local NGOs.

We are enabling local people in Kenya and Burkina Faso to produce their own fertilizer in order to address local fertilizer shortages. Because of this, local fertilizers like biochar and compost are being used by smallholder farmers, especially women, to cultivate healthy maize and other crops.

#2. Increasing the capability and resilience of agriculture

Beyond providing immediate aid, Feed the Future and its partners are constructing long-term resilience for the future. This calls for extending the scope of our engagement with families to safeguard their livelihoods, well-being, and access to food while enhancing their resilience to shocks.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) strives to provide cheap insurance, crop inputs, and training for smallholder farmers across the world so they may increase yields. Farmers are able to enhance their income and boost output even in the face of shocks thanks to funding provided by DFC.

We’re collaborating with local and American experts on innovative climate-resilient farming techniques under the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE). In Honduras, potato farmers are working with researchers from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Current and Emerging Threats to Crops to create a smartphone app that can identify potato illnesses and provide farmers with climatic data on their plots.

#3. Protecting nutrition and absorbing shocks for populations who are at risk

At the core of Feed, the Future’s approach is local leadership. When local companies are successful, they can continue to provide a variety of wholesome meals even during emergencies. And rather than making already existing disparities worse, we can end the cycle of hunger and poverty by empowering women, girls, youth, and marginalized groups.

We are enabling access to government exemptions from import tariffs for equipment and premixes of vitamins and minerals in Uganda by working with local companies there. This lowers the price of fortified foods in the nation and aids in preserving community nutrition.

The Inter-American Foundation (IAF) assists local farming organizations in Guatemala in enabling women, young people, and indigenous communities to launch small businesses. More than 1,700 women farmers have benefited from IAF’s assistance in connecting them to new skill development programs and low-interest loans.

#4. Motivating the global community to take action

The international community must work as a whole to help countries respond to the global food security challenge.

To mobilize action on the situation, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called a UN ministerial conference in May and urged nations and stakeholders to sign up for the Roadmap for Global Food Security.

Since then, the U.S. Government has gathered allies in all international gatherings, including the G20 Meetings in Indonesia and the Ministerial Conference on “Uniting for Global Food Security” in Germany. In order to mobilize resources, prevent export restrictions that would worsen the crisis, and alleviate the burden on the most vulnerable nations, we are deploying diplomacy.

We must cooperate to mobilize a genuinely global response to this issue if we are to make progress that exceeds what any one nation can offer.

SOURCEStories of USAID’s Work from Around the World
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