Washington, D.c. — Global leaders today praised President Obama's Feed the Future initiative for reaching nearly 7 million smallholder farmers and helping to save 12.5 million children from the threat of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition in just the last year alone. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah said today that since it was formed four years ago, Feed the Future and complementary efforts have attracted billions of dollars in investments focused in agriculture, introduced affordable new technologies aimed at increasing agricultural production and managing the risks of a changing climate, and introduced nutrient-packed foods to millions of mothers and children around the world.
Here is what global leaders had to say:
Kofi Annan, 7th Secretary General of the United Nations
"African countries have the potential to increase agricultural productivity with the right policies and investments. Programs like "Feed the Future" make an important contribution by supporting innovation, providing technical knowledge, and developing markets for smallholder farmers to sell their products."
Pamela Anderson, Director of Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remains grateful for US leadership in long-term agricultural development, and especially the approach USAID has taken - strong country level partnerships; it's focus on smallholder farmers; and the understanding that women need to be at the heart of any poverty reduction strategy. This US leadership and investment, accompanied by a sound strategy and a focus on measuring impact, is already showing results through increased crop yields and higher incomes. We look forward to continued collaboration and impact."
David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute
"Feed the Future is the United States' contribution to the exodus from hunger. The report underscores the great progress and potential of the program. Smart and targeted investments in improving smallholder agriculture, maternal and child nutrition, value chains and rural infrastructure are already transforming the lives of hungry and poor people. This is a down payment to global food and nutrition security."
Jim Borel, Executive Vice President, DuPont
"The progress USAID has achieved through its Feed the Future program over the past four years is making a positive difference for millions around the world. DuPont is pleased to continue our collaboration with USAID as a part of our global effort to promote food and nutrition security for people everywhere."
Dr. Bill Dugas, Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M
"The faculty and staff of Texas A&M AgriLife are focused as much as anyone on conducting and implementing scientific research aimed at feeding the world. They are leaders in helping our government entities, such as USAID, improve people's access to safe and nutritious food. Their discoveries and advances are making a difference in our country and around the globe."
Helene D. Gayle, President & CEO, CARE
"Feed the Future is a clear demonstration of the Obama Administration's commitment to tackling hunger and malnutrition around the world. When over 842 million people are hungry and undernourished, we need action from all stakeholders. The U.S. Government's commitment to engaging across sectors and supporting the efforts of smallholder farmers--particularly those of women farmers--is exemplary. Throughout CARE's worldwide programs, we are seeing results among vulnerable households who are now better able to reap greater harvests, provide for their families and see their children grow into well-nourished adults."
Secretary Dan Glickman, Former Secretary of Agriculture
"Investing in agricultural development is essential to reducing global hunger and alleviating poverty. Since 2010, Feed the Future has worked to empower smallholder farmers, which make up over half of the world's chronically hungry. Through giving these farmers tools to increase their yields and connecting them to markets, the incomes of the rural poor are increasing sustainably. This approach is moving the U.S. away from a traditional aid-dependent model to one that fosters economic growth and leverages partnerships. We now need to sustain these investments over the long-term to have lasting impact."
Ambassador Tony Hall, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger
"To truly meet the food security needs of a growing world population, we will need to forge stronger, more robust partnerships across sectors and nations. Feed the Future is an innovative way to bring all necessary stakeholders together to meet this challenge, and it is the direction we must continue to move."
Calestous Juma, Professor of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School
"African leaders are making significant efforts to put agriculture at the center of their economic transformation strategies. By focusing on agricultural innovation, Feed the Future's vision and activities are aligned with African aspirations. This policy congruence offers Africa and the U.S. the opportunity to sow the seeds of new agricultural diplomacy that is guided by mutual interest."
Richard Leach, President & CEO, World Food Program USA
"Feed the Future has had a transformative impact on the international community's effort to address the underlying causes of hunger and malnutrition."
Strive Masiyiwa, Founder, Econet Wireless; co-Chair, GROW Africa; Chairman, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
"Feed the Future is a model development partnership with countries driving the food security agenda to make hunger history. By taking a comprehensive approach - linking agriculture to nutrition and health, using multiple tools from resilient crops to no tillage agriculture, and engaging all stakeholders from farmers to businesses - Feed the Future shows that effective partnerships can deliver impressive results: better harvests on 4 million hectares, better livelihoods for 7 million farming families contributing to better nutrition for 12.5 million children."
Congressman Jim McGovern, U.S. Representative (D-MA)
"The American people should be proud of the work being carried out by Feed the Future. Under Rajiv Shah's incredible leadership, it's saving lives, improving children's health, and strengthening the economic well-being, productivity and food security of millions of families and their communities. Nothing is more important to global security than food security. The findings of this progress report demonstrate why this initiative deserves our support and why we should expand it to reach even more communities around the world."
Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children
"Feed the Future has become a breakthrough development model that has a potential to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. It has raised the bar on tackling hunger and malnutrition, focusing particularly on the critical 1,000 day period from pregnancy through a child's second birthday. Through this initiative, nutrition becomes the essential bridge between agriculture and health that enables millions of children to reach their full potential."
Jacobo Paz, Minister of Agriculture for Honduras
"Feed the Future has provided an excellent example of reducing poverty through integration - such as implementing new technologies, coordinating of health and education investments, along with facilitating access to markets - creating a major economic improvement in the lives of very poor rural families. This model of development will be scaled up and used for our government in different new projects to reach our goals to sustainably reduce rural poverty."
Sam Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction
"Ending hunger and poverty is achievable, but no one can do it alone. InterAction and its NGO members are proud to be partnering with Feed the Future, bringing our local connections, expertise, passion and private resources to ensure we reach families and communities most in need. Together we can continue to yield the kind of impressive and lasting results documented in this progress report."