The recent, dramatic increase in food prices presents serious challenges for the world’s poorest people. The consequences of this threat extend beyond immediate hunger and malnutrition, potentially jeopardizing the significant poverty reductions the developing world has achieved over the past decade. This threat could also undermine support for fragile democracies in the developing world.
Since mid-April, nearly $2 billion of additional U.S. assistance has been targeted to address the impact and underlying causes of global food price increases. Approximately $200 million was provided in April through the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT) and an additional $850 million in PL 480 Title II resources was approved in the FY 2008 supplemental. In addition, another $770 million in funds will be made available from funds appropriated in the FY 2008 supplemental and FY 2009 bridge supplemental to meet the needs outlined by the President in his May 1 announcement. With these funds, the United States is on track to provide over $6 billion to fight global hunger in 2008 and 2009. The United States is pursuing an integrated, three-pronged strategy to combat the food price crisis through short- and long-term actions that:
|Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte talks with Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer at the announcement of the 2008 World Food Prize Laureates on June 13, 2008.
- Target countries made vulnerable by rising food prices;
- Provide agricultural assistance to countries capable of rapidly increasing staple food production whose governments have made a commitment to achieve this goal; and
- Support trade liberalization and increasing use of advanced agricultural technologies.
The Department of State works with a host of other agencies and organizations to promote global food security. A variety of national and international resources on international food security can be accessed via Related Links.
See our blog post commemorating World Food Day.