It’s about time to help Africa feed Africa

This morning, ONE launched a new campaign asking Congress to invest in fighting hunger and to help prevent another food crisis.

We’re making this ask because Congress is considering cutting the budget for the current fiscal year, which means agriculture stands to take a big hit. We think we can save these critical funds, but only if we can get Congress to act before they head home for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Please sign the petition now
and forward to your family and friends.

One billion people suffer around the world from chronic hunger and food insecurity, and most of them are female. One in six people don’t take in enough nutrients to get through the day as they work, go to school or care for their families. Almost 18,000 children die every day due to under-nutrition related causes. And now, many of the world’s poor are on the verge of another food crisis due to soaring food prices.

However, poor farmers in Africa and on other continents are working hard, innovating in their fields and seeking access to new tools, skills and markets that will help them earn a better, more sustainable living. You can see the living proof for yourself.

The US government has a plan to help them do that -– it’s called Feed the Future. The plan calls for the improved nutritional status of women and children, increased farmer incomes and a focus on growing economies in a way that includes the poorest.

Feed the Future’s strategy is to help farmers and national governments develop the capacity to pursue smart agriculture on their own -– so that they can continue to do smart agriculture after the US is gone. It also includes participation in a multilateral agriculture fund to bring donors together to work with national governments.

Last week, I attended a meeting with some of the government folks working on this plan. They seemed extremely committed to the idea of building local capacity and doing development in a way that leaves countries with more knowledge, skills and real, lasting change. This is a big step toward a less hungry, more sustainable world.

The US has a critical opportunity right now to prevent another food crisis and support farmers in Africa and other parts of the world. It’s about time that we take a sustainable approach to ending hunger. Let’s join together and ask Congress to fund this smart agriculture plan at $1.3 billion in 2011.