Big win for agriculture: President Obama outlines new plan for global food security

UPDATED, May 18, 2:43 p.m.:

President Obama just gave a really important speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, which outlined a new alliance against global hunger and next steps to help improve food security around the world. We wanted him to put this issue on the agenda at the G8, and boy, did he do that in a bold way!

Check out this great quote:

“This weekend at the G-8 we’ll be representing many of the largest economies in the world. We face urgent challenges—creating jobs, addressing the situation in Europe, and sustaining the global economic recovery. But even as we deal with these issues, I felt it was important to also focus on the urgent challenge that confronts some one billion men, women and children around the world every day—the injustice of chronic hunger and the need for long-term food security.”

The United States’ New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition will work closely with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, President John Atta-Mills of Ghana, and President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete with the help of African Union Chair Boni Yayi, President of Benin, to help solve the continent’s hunger crisis. These leaders have vowed to make food security a priority for their countries and beyond, and will specifically work to promote agricultural growth and raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.

The best part of the New Alliance is that it truly puts the power in the hands of African governments, allowing donor countries and the private sector to align their assistance with individual country plans.

“There is no reason why Africa should not be feeding itself,” he said.

President Obama said that as long as he is in power, the US will remain a global leader in development, with the fight against global hunger at the forefront. Here’s another great quote from his speech on that note:

“As President, I consider this a moral imperative. As the wealthiest nation on earth, I believe the United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition—and to partner with others. So we take pride in the fact that—because of smart investments in nutrition, agriculture and safety nets—millions of people in Kenya and Ethiopia did not need emergency aid in the recent drought. Still, when tens of thousands of children die from the agony of starvation, as in Somalia, that’s unacceptable. It’s an outrage.”

Keep an eye on the ONE Blog for more analysis on his speech from our policy experts over the next few days. In the mean time, join us in thanking President Obama for putting global food security at the top of his G8 Summit agenda by sending him a thank you message via Tweet or Facebook Status:

TWITTER: .@WhiteHouse, thank you for putting food security at the top of your #G8 agenda @ONECampaign #letsthrive #globalag

FACEBOOK STATUS:

@The White House
Dear President Obama,

Thank you for your support on global agriculture through the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. We look forward to following the progress of the Alliance in helping to raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years.

Sincerely,
NAME, ONE member

Read more about President Obama’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition here, and his full remarks from today’s speechhere. And be sure to read our press release here.

Photo credit: @DerekYach via Twitter