Earlier this week, Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton joined World Food Program USA in honoring Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates for their contributions to reducing global hunger through the Partnerships for Progress (P4P) program.
Together with the World Food Program (WFP), the Gates Foundation and Buffett Foundation helped launch P4P, a public-private partnership which buys local food in low income countries to use as food aid, benefiting both families in need and nearby farmers.
During his keynote remarks, Vice President Biden highlighted additional public-private partnerships that are contributing to global efforts to reduce hunger and promote food security.
In several African countries, the U.S. is partnering with General Mills to provide technical support and training to increase the availability of high quality, nutritious, and safe foods.
In Central America, U.S. development experts are working with Wal-Mart to support small-scale farmers. Through this partnership, Wal-Mart's buyers explain their quality standards and share their production calendars, making it easier for local farmers to work with them.
And through a new public-private partnership, the United States will train Ethiopian chickpea farmers, PepsiCo will source at least 10 percent of its demand for chickpeas from Ethiopia, and WFP and others will process Ethiopian chickpeas into a highly nutritional supplement for malnourished children.
As a self-proclaimed matchmaker -- bringing together diverse groups of private, public and non-profit leaders to collaborate on key development and foreign policy challenges -- it is extremely gratifying to see these collective contributions to reducing global hunger highlighted at the highest level.
Sitting in the audience during the conversation with Secretary Clinton, Howard G. Buffett, Bill Gates, and World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran, I was reminded once again of the necessity of cross-sectoral collaboration in addressing the issues that we are faced with in our increasingly connected world.
I often say that I am absolutely convinced that I have the best job in the entire State Department. This program certainly helped to reinforce this belief.
World Food Program USA awarded the 2011 George McGovern Leadership Award to Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates, honoring their contributions to reducing global hunger. Secretary Clinton received this award in 2010 in recognition of the Obama Administration's commitment and visionary approach to fighting global hunger and promoting food security worldwide.