Last week a briefing and Q&A was held at The Houses of Parliament in London to herald a new U.S. Government initiative, ‘Feed the Future’ (FTF), which aims to address hunger and food security. FTF represents the embodiment of the U.S. commitment from the 2009 G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy to address the world food crisis. Richard Le Baron, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. embassy in London, outlined the 5 main principles:
partnerships with developing countries and the private secto
growth which is sustainable, investments in women,
environmentally sensitive and climate change aware
fostering a culture of innovation.
More specifically, the FTF builds off of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and seeks to reduce hunger and poverty through agriculture development and targeting specifically under-served groups. FTF will include solutions tailored to individual countries reflecting the unique agricultural constraints each country faces. The U.S. has selected 20 partner countries including 12 in Africa after a selection process in which the U.S. decided to only work with countries it is ‘confident are committed’ to the food security of its citizens. In the long-run, Mr. Le Baron noted, private sector investment will be key and this initial aid injection and support will only seek to lay the groundwork. FTF will also work closely with agricultural research efforts, multilateral initiatives, NGO projects, and foreign governments such as the UK so that these efforts can compliment each other rather than compete.
By the numbers, FTF in principle will represent the U.S.’s $3.5 billion commitment made at L’Aquila (part of a total G8 commit of $18.5 billion). So far, $812 million has been allocated and although Professor Gordon Brown of Imperial College (who was also at the briefing) estimated that the ultimate commitment will be under $3 billion, he nevertheless emphasized how ‘significant’ this investment is and suggested that European leaders would be looking to America on agriculture development now.
The commitment is relatively modest, Mr. Le Baron admitted, but the goal of FTF is not to solve world hunger or be overly-ambitious but rather to sustainably build agriculture development and security in a select number of countries.
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.