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

Uttar Pradesh is one of India’s poorest states, with the most recent poverty rate estimate by the Planning Commission of the Indian Government at 29.6%. As such, in order for India to continue to grow, the country must reduce the poverty rate in its poorest states. Proper health and nutrition are crucial to eliminating poverty and are why food security is such a focal point of poverty reduction advocates. The role food plays in poverty reduction is also why advocates worldwide have called for the right to food to be recognized universally.

On September 23, 2013, India’s Parliament enacted the Food Security Act. The act is aimed at ensuring that millions of low-income population groups are provided with nutritious food. The legal authority for the act was derived from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which establishes the fundamental rights to nutritious food and life. Despite the clear benefits, implementing the bill has been surprisingly difficult in some areas.

The Indian National Congress recently protested against Uttar Pradesh’s failure to implement the Food Security Act. During the protest, 100 Congressmen, including senior leaders, were arrested as police charged a mob of party workers trying to forcibly enter the Uttar Pradesh Assembly premises, reports Business Standard. Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal demanded that the act be implemented, claiming that the people of Uttar Pradesh had been left out of receiving benefits.

Uttar Pradesh has delayed implementation of the Food Security Act until July 2014, citing the massive cost as the reason for the delay. According to Zee News, President Mayawati of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in India stated that the act cannot be implemented until the central government in India is ready to bear the entire cost.

The same day as Congress’s protest, the Uttar Pradesh government released a statement, indicating that it had prepared a road map to implement the National Security Act. According to Business Standard, Principal Secretary of Food and Civil Supplies Deepak Trivedi explains that steps have been initiated in Uttar Pradesh on the provisions of the Food Security Act. Officials in Uttar Pradesh have been given instructions to make the implementation of the Act a priority.

– Cavarrio Carter

Sources: Business Standard, The Indian Express, Zee News, Government of India Planning Commission
Photo: Forbes India