Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a champion of the fight to end global hunger and undernutrition, making the case for increased investments in food security and nutrition to help move people out of poverty, create stronger communities, and build a more stable world.
At the Office of Global Food Security, we are looking forward to working with our partners across the whole of the U.S. government, international community, private sector, civil society, and partner nations to build on Secretary Clinton's legacy and to making 2013 another momentous year in the fight to end world hunger and undernutrition.
Throughout 2012, the Obama Administration continued to elevate these issues on the U.S global policy agenda and emphasized the importance of partnering with civil society and the private sector to achieve greater impact in the fight against hunger.
The Department of State is proud to be a part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative. With a focus on smallholder farmers, especially women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. In 2012, Feed the Future launched its first progress report, highlighting accomplishments and U.S. government efforts to enhance donor coordination, leverage investments through partnerships, and advance the research agenda to solve challenges to agricultural productivity.
In 2012, the U.S. government also held the presidency of the G-8. President Obama used this leadership position to bring together G-8 and African leaders in May 2012 to launch the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, with the goal of helping lift 50 million people out of poverty over 10 years and mobilize private sector investment in African agriculture.
The U.S. government also worked closely with the World Bank, other multilateral organizations and civil society organizations to support and replenish the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a multi-donor trust fund to help millions of resource-poor farmers grow and earn more so they can lift themselves out of poverty.
In September, on the margins of the 67th UN General Assembly, Secretary Clinton announced a more than $1 billion commitment of private, non-government funds from InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S. based international NGOs, to support food security worldwide. This new pledge highlighted the importance of collaborating with a wide range of partners to achieve food security goals and is serving as a platform for deepening engagement with civil society.
In October, World Food Program-USA paid special tribute to Secretary Clinton's unprecedented commitment to improving global food security. Tanzanian agronomist Halimah Saleh introduced Secretary Clinton, stating: "Her commitment and forward thinking in agriculture has touched the lives of smallholder farmers -- and many families -- throughout [Tanzania].”
While visiting Ireland in December, Concern Worldwide presented the Secretary with the Fr. Aengus Finucane Award for Services to Humanity honoring her legacy on development during her time as Secretary of State and leading the world in the fight against undernutrition, especially during the critical 1,000-day window from pregnancy to a child's second birthday.
And in December I had the honor of chairing the meeting of the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) in Maputo, Mozambique, where I was able to announce that, thanks to congressional support, the United States had met President Obama's AFSI pledge by obligating over $3.7 billion over three years for global food security. Collectively, all 13 AFSI donors have now met the pledges made at the G-8 Summit in L'Aquila, Italy, in 2009 to mobilize more than $22 billion for food security over three years, two-thirds of which has already been disbursed.
These achievements reflect the commitment of the U.S. government to end global hunger and signal the potential for achieving even more ambitious goals in the coming year. By deepening collaboration with our partners and supporting innovations that can help achieve partner countries' food security goals, we will continue to eradicate hunger and undernutrition.