Global Food Security Act
Global poverty touches the lives of millions of people. Currently, close to 3 billion people lack access to toilets and 1 billion lack access to clean drinking water. In addition, 2.7 million newborns worldwide die within their first month of life.

Seven countries are home to 58 percent of the world’s hungry: India, China, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Tanzania.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization states that 795 million people suffer from chronic hunger. It is clear that there is much work to do in confronting the problems associated with ending global poverty.

The Global Food Security Act aims to address these problems head-on. The bill is a “comprehensive strategic approach for U.S. foreign assistance to developing countries” according to the text of the bill and hopes ‘to reduce global poverty and hunger, achieve food and nutrition security, promote inclusive, sustainable, agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutritional outcomes” among other objectives.

First introduced in March of last year, The Global Food Security Act has carried much bipartisan support due to its proposed benefits. According to InternAction, a group of non-governmental agencies in Washington D.C, a program launched due to the Act, Feed the Future, Initiative, “improved the nutrition of 12.5 million children and assisted nearly 7 million farmers and producers in improving their use of technology and land management practices.”

On March 10, 2016, the Global Food Security Act (S.1252) moved from the Senate floor to committee. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Robert “Bob” Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania, gained three new cosponsors in February, Senator Benjamin Cardin [D-MD], Senator Bob Corker [R-TN] and Senator Daniel Coats [R-IN]. The new additions bring the total number of cosponsors to 13, seven republicans and six democrats.

The House version of the bill (H.R.1567) that has been in committee since April of last year, also has three recent cosponsors, consisting of Congressman Steve Womack [R-AR3], Congressman Lacy Clay [D-MO1] and Congressman Lee Zeldin [R-NY1] which brings the total number to 123, 82 democrats and 42 republicans.

The Global Food Security Act can have huge potential benefits. The World Bank indicates, “that growth in agriculture is on average at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth outside agriculture… Agricultural growth reduces poverty directly, by raising farm incomes, and indirectly, through generating employment and reducing food prices.” By passing the Global Food Security Act, the United States can take decisive action in reducing global poverty.

Michael Clark

Sources: The Borgen Project, GovTrack 1, GovTrack 2, GovTrack 3, InterAction, Bread for the World, World Bank
Photo: Flickr

Global Food Security Act

In February 2016, there were five new co-sponsors of the Global Food Security Act of 2016. Currently, this legislation has 120 cosponsors in the House of Representatives made up of 80 Democrats and 40 Republicans. In the Senate, there are 10 cosponsors, five Republicans and five Democrats.

The new cosponsors of the Global Food Security Act of 2016 are Representatives Curtis “Curt” Clawson, Norma Torres, Frank LoBiondo, Charles “Charlie” Rangel and John Kline.

Rep. Curtis “Curt” Clawson, (R-F.L.) and Rep. Norma Torres (D-C.A.), cosponsored this legislation on Feb. 1, 2016.

Rep. Frank LoBiondo, (R-N.J.) and Rep. Charles “Charlie” Rangel (D-N.Y.), co-sponsored the Global Food Security Act of 2015 on Feb. 23, 2016. Rep. Rangel was mentioned as one of the original cosponsors of an earlier version of this bill, Global Food and Security Act of 2013 (H.R. 2822), in a press release from Rep. Betty McCollum (D-M.N). The earlier version of this legislation died in a previous Congress.

Rep. John Kline (R-M.N.), who signed on as a cosponsor at the end of the month, wrote an op-ed for the Kenyon Leader stating he will continue to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle until his retirement at the end of the year.

The Global Food Security Act of 2015 (H.R. 1567 / S. 1252) is a bipartisan bill designed to help developing countries reduce global poverty and hunger, especially for women and children. According to the legislation’s text, it’s purpose is to achieve sustainable agricultural-led economic growth and to build resilience among vulnerable populations.

These goals would be accomplished by requiring the President to create a global food security strategy to fight global hunger, improve coordination with all relevant federal departments and agencies and establish meaningful monitoring and evaluation systems to track performance.

In addition, the bill also aims to improve coordination with outside organizations, such as U.S. universities, faith-based organizations, the private sector and host countries.

This legislation builds on the success of the Feed the Future initiative by continuing crucial investments in poor, rural farmers. Since its inception in 2009, Feed the Future has worked to increase agricultural productivity and generate opportunities for economic growth in developing countries.

The initiative also helps to boost harvests and incomes of small rural farmers, improve agricultural research and development and increase resilience to prevent recurrent crises so that communities can rebound as quickly as possible.

Summer Jackson

Sources: Bread for the World, CongressFeed the Future, GovtrackGovtrack, Congresswoman McCollumThe Kenyon Leader, Representative Torres
Photo: Wikipedia