Join a Discussion on Ending Hunger Through Development

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 20, 2011
Replay: Conversations With America: Ending Hunger Through Development

Update: Watch the webcast here.

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, Tjada McKenna, Deputy Coordinator for Development, U.S. Feed the Future Initiative will hold a conversation with David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World, on "Ending Hunger Through Development." The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, and streamed live on and DipNote at 3:00 p.m. (ET). You are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Submit your questions in the comment section of this blog entry.

Through Conversations With America, leaders of national nongovernmental organizations have the opportunity to discuss foreign policy and global issues with senior State Department officials. These conversations aim to provide candid views of the ways in which leaders from the foreign affairs community are engaging the State Department on pressing foreign policy issues. From Afghanistan to India, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and internet freedom to world water issues, the Conversations With America series showcases how both the U.S. government and civil society are working across the globe on issues that concern Americans most.

View other Conversations With America by following this link and by accessing the Conversations With America video podcasts on Apple iTunes.



Abate M.
California, USA
October 20, 2011

Abate M. in California writes:

The Horn of Africa is one of the few regions which is most affected by drought resulting in hunger. The region is also one of the most politically unstable and vulnerable to terrorism. If there would be any development program to address the existing problem in the region, it has to integrate security as a vital part of the program. Is there any attempt by the US government and the international community in this regard?

K. A.
District Of Columbia, USA
October 21, 2011

K in Washington D.C. writes:

Is there any consideration given to including family planning with food aid? It seems self-evident that managing population growth is critical to reducing exposure to large-scale humanitarian disasters. Perhaps it's an off-limits subject.

Allan J.
Virginia, USA
October 21, 2011

Allan in Virginia writes:

How do we provide aid while at the same time stimulating independence and economic growth?

Bret R.
October 21, 2011

Bret R. in Rwanda writes:

We've been hearing a lot about the intersection of agriculture, health, and nutrition. How does FTF align its agriculture investments to support production of crops that contribute positively toward health, nutrition, and the environment?

New Mexico, USA
October 21, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Tjada McKenna,

I'm always interested in knowing how policy gets developed over time, and what , if any, effect this blog and the public comment on it contributes to the US dept of State's policy considerations and internal debate surrounding policy initiatives.


U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph A. Mussomeli writes

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Eric, I just saw your entry, and I wanted to thank you for the well thought out suggestion you made. With the current world food crisis, your idea is an intriguing one to add to the mix. Although I can't predict what the final resolution will be -- whether it be full repayment by Cambodia or a form of debt-for-assistance like an education fund -- you have certainly given everyone something new to think about.

Posted on Mon May 05, 2008



You'll find the posted idea in the link above in the comments section, and my question (logicly) is simply whether or not Feed the Future as policy became manifest as a direct result of giving everyone @ State "something new to think about"?

See, I believe it is the job of every citizen to inspire his/her government to think, and it would be nice once in awhile to get a job performance evaluation...(chuckle) I can do a better job doing what I do best, so you'all can create a better world for mey kids and everyone else's kids to grow up in.

That isn't asking too much is it?

Thanks for taking the time to look into this and seeing what came of it.

Looking forward to your answer, one way or another, and keep up the good work!


Juan D.
October 21, 2011

Juan D. in Canada writes:

The issue of "Ending hunger" goes hand in hand with food sustainability. Unfortunately, when more "free food" is provided, the sustainability factor goes down. As an old quote says: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

So instead of Food Aid programs, that only help to get rid of the excess output of agricultural products created by the Farm Bill, we should use the technology, send it at a low price to developing countries, explain to them how to use it, and encourage local production, which by the way, has to be protected with the proper barriers, lets call it tariffs.

But instead, we see more so called "free trade" which is nothing else but a tool to bring down those barriers and continue the promotion of US agricultural products at an unreal low price, destroying local production, and yes, promoting hunger. Because without real jobs, there is no money to pay for even cheap food.

I just want to highlight two cases: rice production in Ghana. And corn production in Mexico. Look at that before and after free trade. The Cotton case with Brazil proved that the dumping is real.

The question is: how is the US going to stop the Farm Bill? Or better: is the regular american citizen willing to understand the damage that the Farm Bill is creating around the world?

Massachusetts, USA
October 22, 2011

Maureen in Massachusetts writes:

Ending Hunger Through Development:

@ Juan D. in Canada

The Farm Bill is quite controversial but make sure to read the DipNote Raj Shaw posting Oct. 16th "Commemorating World Food Day 2011". I think you will like what you see.

Rashad A.
Palestinian Territories
October 23, 2011

Rashad A. in the Palestinian Territories writes:

Palestine one of the few regions which is most affected by hunger. No employments , Economic and social situation and political very bad, Humanitarian organizations suffer from a lack of funding for its programs in Palestine, and many humanitarian organizations are planning to close its offices in Palestine because of the lack of funding, This role will be famines occur and increases the severity of hunger in Palestine Is there any attempt by the US government and the international community in this regard?

Cheryl F.
Arizona, USA
October 24, 2011

Cheryl F. in Arizona writes:

Seriously? The USA can't take care of hunger in our own country. So is this going to stop or create a plan for the problem of hunger in the United States of America?

abubaker i.
October 24, 2011

Abubaker I. in Cameroon writes:

It's better to develop people to make their nets than to donate them ready fish. Africa is very rich, but the world have n't been willing to stop the wars that have been killing millions, that by supporting corrupted minorities against their innocent majorities for more and more survivors. Africa is very rich with natural resources to be shared for great green developments by building great dams in river Zaire to generate great electricity power to use for trafic, irrigation and other more great development sceams in RDC, CAR, Chad, Southern Sudan, Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Plastine and Israel. By building great dams in Zaire river great amounts of water can be pulled to river Nile and river Chari to save the lake chad, to regenerate more electricity power to irrigrate the semmi-desert plains to save the Zaire river base, the desert is advancing south very fast. Other great dams can be built in south Ethyiopia near its boarder with Kenya in that river of lake Turkano of Kenya to generate great electricity power for great development in south of Ethyiopia and Kenya. I hope the world assist and share African great rsources for green century C21 technologies not C20 ones for green developed Africa where there are no more earthquakes. The world can cover the African deserts with green with managing the resources for the world benefits.

October 25, 2011

Nikhilesh in India writes:

In my opinion, thorough understanding of the ground situation in the poverty-affected region is a necessary pre-requisite.

Is the region prone to conflicts ? Are these conflicts due to food insecurity or some other reason ?

Peace should prevail first or any aid would not reach its destination.

Is the local Govt. stable and just ? What is the level of corruption ?

Is the nation crippled by debt ? If so, debt cancellation may prove helpful.

How's the climate and geography of the affected region ?

I guess even within a small region, we may find different magnitudes of severity, due to various factors behind them. In some severly affected region direct food aid would be absolutely necessary. At other places poverty can be better solved by farm aids. One popular formula that proved successful in the Indian scenario taken up be certain NGOs is the Food for Work scheme, in which people are provided aid for building roads and improving the local infrastructure. Mid day meal at schools is also a tried and tested method.

To summarize, "one size fits all" may not work.

I'd like to know if this initiative versatile enough to diagnose and cure poverty so as to be truly effective.


Florida, USA
October 25, 2011

Dr. Chandler in Florida writes:

Thank you for this opportunity. I just returned from the 25th anniversary World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.

My grandfather was the second laureate for his work with rice hybrids and as the founder of IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. Mr. Beckmann is a laureate. As he knows the World Food Prize includes the Global Youth Institute that attempts to reach out to teachers and high school students.

As an educational anthropologist and teacher educator myself, I have a question in regards to K-12 education, specifically high school education. How is that we in America do not have Global Studies teacher certification in all 50 states that includes issues related to global food and agriculture?

Stefan P.
Minnesota, USA
October 25, 2011

Stefan P. in Minnesota writes:

Dear Rev. Beckmann,

What is Bread for the World doing to address the US Farm Bill's direct subsidies to commodity crops? By artificially lowering the price of commodity crops we increase the ability for the US to export these crops to developing countries; supplanting local crops and stopping the process of overseas development.

Thank you,
Stefan P., MD, MPH, MATS

Juan D.
October 25, 2011

Juan D. in Canada writes:

Thanks for the comment Maureen. I had to google that. That points to "" which says: "The U.S. is helping countries transform their own agricultural sectors to grow enough food sustainably to feed their people". For me this is rhetoric, far from reality. Or, how can we understand this in the same paragraph with "free trade agreements" when the so called free trade is promoting US agricultural products sold below cost -dumping-, that destroy local production in developing countries? Are the US promoting sustainability or creating dependency?

October 25, 2011

Maria in the Netherlands writes:

Ending global hunger. Start in youre own country. Make sure own people get good pay for work. End the gap between top and bottom.

There is enough food for everyone if not the top is so gready and wants to earn more and more.

Low paid jobs must get higher. Miljonairs must pay more taxes. Shops etc.. food over, gif it away. Dear to give away and you will see it comes back to you.

Palestinian Territories
October 25, 2011

Liana in the Palestinian Territories writes:

For sure the right development will help too much to end hunger, I believe there is enough for every one if there is an equality in the world, but unfortunately in reality everyone not equal for different reasons.

It’s very useful to learn from each other experience, to get the positives to overcome the negatives.


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