A Call To Feed the Future

Posted by Cheryl Mills
May 20, 2010
Children Eat Free Meal in Mumbai, India

About the Author: Cheryl D. Mills serves as Counselor and Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Obama Administration is forging a new vision for development -- one that fundamentally elevates development as a central pillar of our foreign policy alongside diplomacy and defense, changes the way we support development in new and innovative ways, and integrates development much more deeply with defense and diplomacy to address some of the world's greatest challenges. The Administration's core vision is to build a safer, more prosperous, more democratic, and more equitable world. The Feed the Future Initiative is central to achieving that vision. Recognizing the importance of food security to our collective environmental, economic and human security, President Obama asked Secretary Clinton to lead a robust whole-of-government effort to make food security a reality for millions in need.

Today, I am honored to be in the presence of leaders such as Liberian President Sirleaf, Ministers of Agriculture, Administrator Shah, U.S. members of Congress, government colleagues, and representatives from civil society and the private sector to discuss the development of Feed the Future. In a world where over a billion people suffer from hunger, and more than 3.5 million children die from under-nutrition each year, the challenge can be daunting. Feed the Future, the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, renews our commitment to invest in sustainably reducing hunger and poverty. We will work through partnerships with countries vulnerable to food insecurity and most committed to creating rigorous investment plans which will strengthen the entire agricultural chain -- from the lab, to the farm, to the market, to the table.

We have come far since global leaders met in L'Aquila, Italy, last July and committed to act with the scale and urgency needed to achieve sustainable global food security. Just last month, Treasury Secretary Geithner announced our $475 million investment in the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a new multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank that will support country-led plans for food security.

Women and girls are at the heart of this initiative. There's a proverb that speaks to a central lesson of development: “Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime." Secretary Clinton has offered an addition to that proverb: "If you teach a woman to fish, she'll feed her whole village." As the status of women improves, agricultural productivity and nutrition improve as well. Greater gender equality is a force multiplier in all of our development efforts.

Feed the Future requires the best of our government, including effectively leveraging diplomacy and development to work with host governments and other donors. Perhaps most importantly, this inclusive approach invites stakeholders from all segments of society to concentrate on food security for all. What will your role be?

Related Content: USAID Administrator Shah's remarks and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's remarks.



May 20, 2010

Marco in Italy writes:

Thanks for the gentle consideration.

We can imagine our future only near a great respect of Justice, of Equality, of Democrats Ideals in every city, in every Country...everywhere we are...with our work, with our consideration of everybody, every day...

For this reason is very important the great example of OUR LEADER! They are a great ligth for everyday, for everyone!

Thanks for your great example!

William C.
Rhode Island, USA
May 22, 2010

William C. in Rhode Island writes:

As World hunger grows, protein energy malnutrition(PEM), the world's most lethal death, explodes, hundreds of million child die, along with our ocean, lets save our children and our oceans. WorldAquaculture

Kansas, USA
May 27, 2010

Josh in Kansas writes:

A blind adherance toward "aid" must be seriously looked at as a possible detriment. I reccomend that everyone who is interested in the assistance of the poor read a book entitled, "When helping hurts".

When I bring up the possibility that we should, perhaps, not provide some kinds of aid, liberals almost always cry foul. What they fail to do however is too analyze the particular situations, and realize that a broad strategy is not always the best idea. Each culture in the world is unique, and we must adapt how we work with each of them individually.

I think that Obama's intentions are pure, however he insists on carrying out those intentions in an extremely ideological way, meaning he is not open to pragmatic solutions that might buck his statist bent.

phil c.
California, USA
May 28, 2010

Phil C. in California writes:

RE: "If you teach a woman to fish, she'll feed her whole village"

Globally, women are engaged in various aquaculture activities from fish hatching to harvesting and as a majority in processing. In Bangladesh, women make up about 60% of all fish farmers and many are successful entrepreneurs playing central roles in collectives for implementing conservation measures for increased fish abundance. In Cambodia, higher yields are obtained from fishponds managed mainly by women.

Mariculture would provide developing countries a competitive edge in the fastest-growing global food industry while relieving strain on natural marine and agriculture water resources. It would also increase employment, income generation, women empowerment, exports, and foreign exchange.

See Mariculture: An Opportunity for Donors and Developing Nations tinyurl.com/2unn3y6

John L.
June 17, 2010

John L. in the Netherlands writes:

The most neglected crop is the coconut tree. Only 5% is utilized worldwide. To change this we have developed cattle feed and fish feed from coconut wastes. And are developing more added value products. Revitalizing this sector means 100.000's (better paid) jobs, new opportunities, less GHG emission, etc in stead of new palm oil of soya plantations.

Puerto Rico
June 17, 2010

Manuel in Puerto Rico writes:

Madame Secretary,
It’s a great honor to be able to address you and humbly present my point of view in matters I am no expert but just want to share a thought.
I wonder if our enemies have a wise heart and for a valid reason would entertain reconsideration in the name of those we love and mankind. For love has yet to bring us together, in the meantime let’s ensure survival.
It was said that mankind should not worry about surviving the challenges of the Universe for mankind would not survive itself. This is a challenge for living. We will survive ourselves but will we then be able to survive the challenges of the Universe. All returned to dust?

Thank you for the honor,

Oklahoma, USA
July 28, 2010

David in Oklahoma writes:

Government is seldom successful in the implementation of new programs, and is also often ineffective in most crisis response efforts. Current plans to provide more food for the hungry seem to be focused on forcing "factory farming" methods and "biotech" on the developing world --- more for our benefit than for those living on the "brink-of-starvation." The net result may be a sustained growth of frustration and anger in many developing nations, as we fail and actually "feed" future conflict.


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