MFAN Statement: USAID Should Oversee Food Security Initiative
May 20, 2010 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram:
The implementation plan for the Obama Administration’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, that was released today demonstrates adherence to key foreign assistance reform principles in accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in extreme poverty and hunger by 2015:
- Invest in country-owned plans that reflect the needs of individual countries;
- Strengthen strategic coordination among a variety of stakeholders and partners, including civil society and the private sector;
- Ensure a comprehensive approach that connects humanitarian relief to sustainable development efforts;
- Leverage the benefits of multilateral institutions; and
- Deliver on sustained commitments that are accountable and transparent.
However, in order for Feed the Future to succeed as part of a whole-of-government approach, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – the U.S. government’s lead development agency – needs to be put in charge of the food security initiative and oversee its implementation process. Feed the Future’s two key objectives for addressing global food insecurity are accelerating agricultural growth and production in developing countries and improving nutritional status, in particular of women and children – both of which are inherently poverty-focused development goals.
“USAID is our main agency for international development, and the head of USAID should be given unambiguous authority to drive this urgent initiative,” said Beckmann.