President Obama Announces Major Progress Through Feed the Future Initiative
Thursday, July 30, 2015
On July 28 President Obama announced that Feed the Future, his signature global hunger and food security initiative, is delivering on his promise to reduce hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development. New data demonstrate that, thanks in part to Feed the Future and other U.S. Government efforts, stunting rates have declined in Ethiopia, Ghana, and parts of Kenya by between 9 and 33 percent in recent years, while areas in Uganda have seen a 16 percent drop in poverty.
During a tour of Ethiopian food processor Faffa Foods as part of his fourth presidential visit to Africa, President Obama highlighted progress across the continent made through Feed the Future. As part of its comprehensive approach, the multi-agency initiative supports food processors like Faffa Foods with technical assistance through a jointly funded public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Partners in Food Solutions, a non-profit consortium of multinational companies that works to help smallholder farmers, according to USAID.
“The number of hungry people in the world has dropped by 100 million in the last decade, in large part due to coordinated efforts around the world to eradicate hunger and end extreme poverty,” said USAID’s Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt. “But there is much work left to do. Today, 795 million people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition, conditions that can drive instability and turmoil and continue the vicious cycle of poverty. Through Feed the Future, governments, civil society, development partners, and the private sector will continue to work together to ensure everyone has the nutritious food they need to lead healthy and productive lives”
During a press conference in Kenya on Saturday, President Obama said of the initiative: “[I]f you look at our Feed the Future program…we’ve got millions of farmers across this continent who, as we speak, have benefitted from increased yields, increased incomes, greater access to small loans that are making them more productive, greater access to market, linking up with technology in ways that assure that they get a fair price — all of which, since Africa is still disproportionately rural, is increasing incomes and spurring growth and building a middle class in the entire continent…it is a model that’s working and then has been supplemented with private sector investments that is further advancing the development of a more productive agricultural sector across the African continent.”
In 2014 Feed the Future and other U.S. Government programs reached nearly 9 million children in Africa with nutrition interventions, and helped nearly 2.5 million smallholder farmers gain access to new tools or technologies such as high-yielding seeds, fertilizer application, soil conservation and water management. The 2015 Feed the Future progress report results summary, released today, includes analysis of data trends from recent years and emphasizes how these results are contributing to broader impacts and long-term outcomes — such as downward trends in both poverty and stunting:
In Ethiopia, there was a 9 percent reduction in stunting nationally between 2011 and 2014.