Secretary Clinton Highlights Civil Society Contributions To End Global Hunger

Posted by Jonathan Shrier
September 27, 2012
Secretary Clinton at Feed the Future Event in Malawi

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton co-hosted an event with President Joyce Banda of Malawi, to highlight both the progress made in the last three years under Feed the Future and the contributions of civil society organizations to advance our food security goals.

The highlight of the event was an extraordinary commitment by civil society organizations.

As Secretary Clinton said, "Today, I am pleased to announce a new commitment by civil society groups...InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S.-based organizations, is pledging more than one billion dollars of private, non-government funds over the next three years to improve food security and improve nutrition worldwide. Of this one billion dollars, five U.S.-based organizations together have pledged to invest more than 900 billion dollars in this effort. They are: World Vision, Heifer International, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and ChildFund International."

Ending hunger has been at the top of international development agendas since the global food price spike in 2008 and the resulting rise in hunger and malnutrition. For the first time, the number of hungry people in the world surpassed one billion, and the world was spurred into action, united by the clear need for not just emergency food aid but for long term solutions to hunger and undernutrition.

The United States answered the challenge at the G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, in 2009 with a $3.5 billion pledge for international agricultural development, which laid the groundwork for Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative. Following L'Aquila, over 40 nations and international organizations pledged a total of 22 billion dollars to improve global food security.

Ending world hunger requires comprehensive, coordinated action among governments, donors, civil society and the private sector. That is why today's announcement is so important.

And just as these organizations hold governments accountable, they have agreed to be held accountable for these commitments for their commitments. Starting in 2013, InterAction will report annually on commitments and disbursements at the time of these UN General Assembly meetings.

This commitment complements the work of the U.S. government, multilateral organizations, and the private sector, and represents a continuation of the excellent work civil society partners already do around the world as implementers of development and training programs, as interlocutors who have long-standing relationships with small, difficult to reach communities, and as innovators who can identify needs and improvise technical solutions.

Partners, like the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement and the 1,000 Days Partnership exemplify our close collaboration with civil society organizations and the private sector. Launched by Secretary during the in 2010 U.N. General Assembly, the 1,000 Days Partnership is helping mobilize governments, civil society and the private sector to promote action to improve nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life. The partnership helps disseminate research, latest innovations in nutrition and best practices, and thanks to their efforts more and more stakeholders are prioritizing nutrition interventions during the critical 1000 days"when adequate nutrition can have a lifelong impact on the child's health, ability to grow and learn, and eventually rise out of poverty.

As the Secretary mentioned in her remarks, "Along with the private sector, which is already giving unprecedented support to agriculture…Civil society organizations are crucial to our success, both in the public and private sector; they have long standing relationships in communities and valuable technical expertise, and they work every single day on their commitment to try to make this world a better place for all of us."

To take advantage of the wisdom of civil society, we must take Malawian President Joyce Banda's advice:"Listen." Listening is the start of true partnership.

We must all -- governments, private sector, and civil society -- maintain our collective efforts in this fight.

Thanks to our partners, we have made great progress in the last three years since we launched Feed the Future, and we will continue to engage the private sector and civil society to scale up successful, innovative interventions that can advance our goals and help achieve global food security.

Related Content:Feed the Future -- Turning the Tide Against Global Hunger (Video narrated by actor Matt Damon)

Comments

Comments

karey
September 28, 2012

Karey writes:

This is news too good not to share.

fojfo
|
New York, USA
September 29, 2012

Fojfo in New York writes:

Secretary Clinton said: "Today, I am pleased to announce a new commitment by civil society groups...InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S.-based organizations, is pledging more than one billion dollars of private, non-government funds over the next three years to improve food security and improve nutrition worldwide. Of this one billion dollars, five U.S.-based organizations together have pledged to invest more than 900 billion dollars in this effort. They are: World Vision, Heifer International, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and ChildFund International."

This is very good news for most people.

Jeff M.
|
Kenya
October 1, 2012

Jeff M. in Kenya writes:

Your article accidentally states that five U.S.-based organizations together have pledged to invest more than 900 billion (vs. million) dollars in this effort. That would, indeed be a very noteworthy contribution from international civil society groups toward ending global hunger.

Ironically, at estimated annual rates for remittances, US$ 1 trillion is exactly how much migrant workers are expected to send home to their families in the way of remittances over the next three years.

This typo helps illustrate the extent to which the contributions of family members working overseas dwarf those of all international charities combined, in this example by a factor of 10. It would be helpful to see a better understanding and recognition of the critical role of remittances in alleviating food insecurity in future articles such as this from the Department of State.

The good news is you have two options for your corrigendum: You could admit you confused US$ 1 billion with US$ 1 trillion; or you simply could say that Secretary Clinton’s remarks were, in fact, in reference to the enormous contribution poor families themselves are already making to ensure their food security. Not only would the latter be factually correct, it would also be a first step toward the better understanding and recognition mentioned above.

Judith P.
October 3, 2012

Judith P. writes:

Jonathan, thanks for this great recap on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s meeting with President Joyce Banda and the many great achievements the world is making in the fight against hunger. Like you said, governments, private sector, and civil society all must work collectively to support agriculture and other initiatives that can help increase food security worldwide. One way the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is working to combat food insecurity in Africa is through its support of Forestry and Agricultural Investment (FAIM) in Rwanda. FAIM helps farmers boost their farm production, their incomes, and the local food supply by growing virus-free plants. You can read more about the project here: opic.gov/blog/africa/investing-in-better-harvests.

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