Enactment of U.S. Global Food Security Act Historic Victory in the Fight Against Hunger, says The Borgen Project

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The Borgen Project welcomes the enactment of the Global Food Security Act into law, a historic victory which brings us a step closer to ending global poverty and hunger within our lifetime.

On July 20, the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (GFSA) was signed into law by President Obama, providing a boost to international efforts for reducing global poverty and hunger, improving nutrition and resilience in developing countries and advancing U.S. interests abroad. The Act builds on existing food security programs under the Feed the Future initiative but critically extends finance mechanisms and funding for food security and disaster assistance.

“The GFSA has been in the making for many years so it's great to see Congress taking up this cause which will go a long way to helping the close to 800 million people currently experiencing chronic hunger and malnutrition across the globe. Food insecurity is a global challenge and one which comes at a huge economic cost. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the cost of under-nutrition to national economic development is between US$1.4 to $2.1 trillion,” said Clint Borgen, Founder and President of The Borgen Project.

“With a number of very important initiatives to alleviate hunger and poverty, The Borgen Project has been a firm supporter of the GFSA over the last four years setting up over 150 meetings with Congress. Supporters of The Borgen Project have echoed calls for the adoption of the Act by sending close to 6,000 emails to Congress in an unprecedented expression of support for the Act,” added Clint.

The majority of the funding guaranteed under the GFSA will go towards supporting the Feed the Future, a U.S. government agricultural development program that partners with smallholder farmers, many of whom are women, to sustainably increase harvests, economic growth and trade. Not only has Feed the Future’s activities helped local partners increase their combined sales by $500 million over 3 years, but by helping women farmers in particular it can unlock further production gains and decrease the number of hungry people globally by 12-17%.

In addition, the GFSA will provide funding for International Disaster Assistance as well as activate the USAID’s Emergency Food Security Program which will rapidly deliver locally-grown food and other commodities to those in dire need through electronic voucher systems.

To ensure that valuable U.S. foreign assistance does not go to waste, the GFSA also requires that all U.S. government departments with food security initiatives work together, liaise and share information with Congress thereby increasing their accountability.

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Kim Thelwell
The Borgen Project
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