March 30, 2015) On March 24, Rep. Chris Smith introduced the Global Food Security Act of 2015 (H.R 1567), legislation supporting the U.S. government global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future (FtF).
The bill’s purpose is “To authorize a comprehensive, strategic approach for United States foreign assistance to developing countries to reduce global poverty and hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, promote inclusive, sustainable agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutritional outcomes, especially for women and children, build resilience among vulnerable populations, and for other purposes.”
The bill currently has 12 cosponsors. Its legislative progress can be followed by going to the Congressional legislative database Thomas and typing in the bill number H.R.1567 into the search box there (making sure the bill number button is selected).
In another FtF development, Oxfam America released a report Promise and Potential: Delivering inclusive, sustainable development for small-scale food producers through the Feed the Future Initiative (44 page PDF).
Oxfam America examined FtF activities in six countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania. Among the report’s findings:
The case studies point to substantial, real, and important improvements in the way the US government, especially the US Agency for International Development (USAID), delivers assistance. FtF has made significant efforts to incorporate and adhere to principles of aid effectiveness.
The initiative is also making real efforts to integrate key issues such as women’s empowerment and natural resource management across FtF activities.
The bulk of bilateral assistance provided through FtF is allocated to programs that emphasize increased production and productivity of crops and engagement of small-scale producers in formal value chains. This approach has important implications; small-scale producers are in the best position to take advantage of the resources and support offered through these projects. However, the case studies revealed that FtF projects tend to most benefit producers who already have the resources, capacity, and relationships to take advantage of new market opportunities.