WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Lindsey Graham (R-RS) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced legislation to combat the global food security crisis. The current band-aid approach to food security challenges is both insufficient and unsustainable. The Foundation for International Food Security Act would be a new model to tackle this growing global challenge by leveraging private sector dollars to improve food systems. The Foundation will bring to the forefront innovative solutions from the private sector and help breakdown institutional barriers.
“Escalating conflicts, food inaccessibility and increased prices are fueling a global hunger crisis. This is a humanitarian emergency that needs an innovative approach to deliver help to children and families most in need. I’m pleased to support the Foundation for International Food Security Act to leverage private funding so we help modernize food supply systems around the world which will ultimately foster stability and prevent the weaponization of food,” Boozman said.
“Today, according to the World Food Program, there are more than 345 million people facing acute hunger. That is an increase of almost 200 million since early 2020,” said Graham. “Our legislation will focus on helping people in the developing world produce their own food so they aren’t forced to migrate. The American farming community is the gold standard and this will help us bring the best science and technology to the developing world. Our goal is to help teach people how to feed themselves using American ingenuity and technology.”
“Hundreds of millions of people are facing famine due to rising food prices, climate change, conflict, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Coons. “As Chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m proud to steer the United States’ continuing leadership role in combatting global food insecurity. Giving a helping hand to those who need it the most has been a longstanding value of our nation, and this legislation will help promote sustainable, agriculture-led economic growth and build resilient food systems to put an end to hunger across the world.”
The Foundation for International Food Security Act:
- Establishes a nonprofit, independent foundation to fund a focused group of countries by leveraging the private sector to bring additional capital and resources to projects that address food security systems.
- Projects will be funded based on a list of predetermined criteria including the ability to hit performance metrics, increase agricultural production, mitigate against food shocks, and remain sustainable.
- The Foundation will complement existing programs, but is charged with not duplicating existing US government funded programs
Background on the current food security crisis.
- More than 345 million people face acute hunger in 2023 – more than double the number in 2020.
- Up to 50 million people are on the brink of famine and over 13 million children suffer from severe malnutrition, also known as wasting.
- The number of acutely hungry people continues to increase at a pace that?funding is unlikely to match, while the cost of delivering food assistance is at an all-time high.
The Foundation for International Food Security Act is endorsed by The Nature Conservancy, Farm Journal and One Acre Fund.
“One Acre Fund is thrilled with the introduction of the Foundation for International Food Security bill, which will drive more resources into impactful programs that equip smallholder farmers with the tools they need to feed their families and communities. In an era of increasing global hunger, we are excited about this new Foundation's focus on measurable and sustainable results, and its unique governance structure that will build more support to help our sector get back on track to achieving SDG2, a zero-hunger world,” said Matthew Forti, One Acre Fund Managing Director.
“Given the many global challenges we collectively face, Farm Journal Foundation is supportive of the Foundation for International Security Act, which if enacted will complement the ongoing, impactful work of the U.S. government's Feed the Future initiative and help ensure that the public and private sectors work together to advance global food and nutrition security,” said Katie Lee, Vice President, Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation.