BALTIMORE, July 6, 2016—Lutheran World Relief applauds today’s congressional approval of the Global Food Security Act, which authorizes the funding of overseas agricultural development and disaster assistance programs that provide life-saving assistance while reducing aid dependence.
The bipartisan legislation sets forth the first-ever Global Food Security Strategy, a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach for assisting developing countries to increase sustainable and equitable agricultural development, reduce hunger, improve nutrition, develop rural infrastructure and stimulate rural economies. It also promotes transparency by instituting standards of effectiveness and requiring an annual cross-cutting report tracking the expenditures of 11 federal departments and agencies that engage in agricultural development and food security efforts.
The bill also authorizes funding for existing International Disaster Assistance programs that help to meet the needs of refugee populations in their current locations.
Today’s approval by the House of Representatives incorporates a version of the legislation approved earlier by the Senate, and the bill will now be sent to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
“After decades of declining support for farmers in developing countries, renewed U.S. leadership from President Bush and now President Obama has sparked a global commitment to help people feed themselves,” said Daniel V. Speckhard, LWR president & CEO. “The Global Food Security Act is an exciting step forward in building the political will needed to end global hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime.”
LWR strongly believes that the global agriculture system must ensure that small-scale producers, who grow 80 percent of the food in developing countries, benefit from national and international agriculture policies and that their livelihoods are enhanced and empowered as a result. President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative—which builds the agricultural sector by increasing the productivity and income of farmers in 19 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America—is an example of U.S. leadership that the GFSA should help to continue in the next Administration. LWR administers an innovative agricultural program for women in western Honduras with support from USAID under the Feed the Future program.
About Lutheran World Relief
Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit lwr.org.