Posts Tagged ‘The One Campaign’

Apr26

Chicago Council Evaluates U.S. Support of Agriculture Abroad

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By Laura Reynolds

The Chicago Council on Global AffairsGlobal Agricultural Development Initiative launched its 2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development in Washington, D.C. today.

The report assesses how successfully the United States has been in sustaining support for global agricultural development. (Image credit: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs)

The report assesses how successfully the United States has been in reinvigorating and sustaining international support for global agricultural development and food security. It details changes in funding and activity on agricultural development by U.S. departments and agencies, by the U.S. Congress, and in three focus countries—Ghana, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh—between 2009 and 2012.

Both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development receive an “outstanding” evaluation in the report, for their leadership in advancing agricultural issues amid challenging budget restrictions. The report specifically commends Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her development and support of the Feed the Future initiative, which has pledged US$3.5 billion to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture receive “good” evaluations. The report gives the Peace Corps a “satisfactory” evaluation, noting that its agriculture and environment volunteers still make up only 7 percent of the total number of volunteers in the field.

Stating that “problems of rural hunger and poverty cannot be overcome quickly,” the report urges that “the challenge in the years to come will be to maintain this strong leadership, and sustain the bipartisan support for food security and agricultural development initiatives.”

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Apr10

The One Campaign Urges “Final Push” to Break Cycle of Poverty and Malnutrition

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By Laura Reynolds

As part of its THRIVE campaign, the grassroots organization The One Campaign has released a report, FOOD. FARMING. FUTURE. Breaking the Cycle of Malnutrition and Poverty. The report offers concrete steps to lift communities out of extreme poverty and food insecurity, and highlights success stories from Malawi and Tanzania.

Proper nutrition is vital for child development. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Malnutrition, or not getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals in one’s diet, can contribute to stunted physical development and shorter, less-productive lives. According to the World Bank, individuals suffering from malnutrition lose an average of 10 percent of their potential lifetime earnings.

Around 1.4 billion people, or 20 percent of the world’s population, live in extreme poverty, earning less than US$1.25 per day. One billion of these people also suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition. Children suffer disproportionately from malnutrition: 2.5 million children will die in this year alone from not getting enough food, and the development of 178 million children will be irreversibly impaired.

The report points out that reactive measures, such as early warning systems, safety net programs, and coordinated humanitarian responses have not been enough to eradicate the food crises and famines that result from drought and national disasters. A more preventative approach, beginning with increased investment in agriculture—and the financial and infrastructure systems that support it—is needed to increase incomes and eradicate food security.

Agricultural investment has proven to be the most effective means of lifting entire communities out of poverty. When connected to markets, smallholder farmers can generate income, send their children to school, and boost their community’s economy over the long-term. For this reason, investments in agriculture are estimated to be around two to four times more effective in reducing poverty than investment in other sectors.

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