Hear author and Senior Policy Adviser for Food Security and Livelihoods, Beth Ann Saracco speak more on this topic next week on our advocacy conference call.
At World Vision, we believe ending hunger can be achieved in our lifetime. By working alongside families and empowering them to grow their own food, World Vision helps ensure thousands of communities around the world are on track to accomplish the global goal of ending hunger by 2030.
One critical resource that enables World Vision to work with these communities is a U.S. government supported food assistance program known as Food for Peace. Hadija, a woman from Niger, has experienced first-hand the benefits of this program “There is nothing left in our granaries. The harvest was very bad and we could not feed our children. I can only thank those who are helping us to have food on our plate.” Now, land restoration and programs to increase land productivity are transforming previously barren lands in these communities in Niger.
Since 1954, Food for Peace has enabled the United States to reach more than 4 billion people with food assistance through both emergency and development programs. Currently, World Vision U.S. is implementing development Food for Peace programs in six countries: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Niger, and Zimbabwe. These programs reach over 1.86 million beneficiaries with a total funding of $337 million in grants.
Right now, the U.S. Congress is preparing to reauthorize this program through legislation known as the Farm Bill. While often thought of as a domestic bill, the legislation includes a section that addresses international food assistance programs, including Food for Peace and a child school feeding program referred to as McGovern Dole Food for Education.
Food for Peace development programs approach hunger holistically through a multi-year and multi-sectored approach. Food production is addressed, along with preventing malnutrition, reducing the risks of disasters, and increasing sources of income for families. The McGovern Dole Food for Education program in the immediate term provides food for hungry children. In the long term, this results in improved literacy and higher rates of education – especially for girls.
Be prepared to encourage members of Congress to reauthorize and fund these important programs. In Washington D.C., we are busy meeting with congressional members and their staff to build support for Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole. We have also partnered with other organizations to launch a series of congressional briefings to inform congressional staffers about the bill and to share stories of the work World Vision is doing internationally. But, we need your help!
You can be actively involved. Please urge your elected officials to:
- Support Food for Peace and McGovern Dole Food for Education programs within the Farm Bill when introduced later this year;
- Protect the $350 million allotted for Food for Peace Development programs, which help to prevent future food crises and famines by helping countries tackle the root causes of poverty and food insecurity now;
- Further leverage good governance and social accountability programs within the Food for Peace and McGovern-Dole Food for Education programs. This will empower increased food security from within communities through better government transparency and accountability.
In every country where World Vision is implementing programs funded through the Farm Bill, we are working across sectors to improve economic development, agriculture and natural resource management, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, and gender equality.
As Congress prepares to introduce the Farm Bill, stay up to date on the progress of these programs:
- Educate yourself! Here are some great resources to learn more about the Farm Bill and what the $350 million for development and food security activities does.
- Stay connected! Follow food security and livelihoods news on our blog to find out when the new legislation is introduced.
Programs like Food for Peace and McGovern Dole are vital to creating sustainable communities and long-lasting change. These programs will ultimately lead to healthier, more nourished families and children around the world. Join us as we advocate to Congress to protect these vital programs.
If you would like to learn more about the Farm Bill, ask specific questions, or learn what you can do more specifically, to support this bill, join our advocacy conference call on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 12:00 PST | 3:00 EST. See an overview of the topic and speakers, and how you can sign up, here.
Photo: Esther Elim, 9, with kale harvested from the plot her community works on in a Food For Assets project in Simailele, southern Turkana. Northwest Kenya is hard hit by the drought that is sweeping over East Africa. But thanks to a World Vision Food for Assets program in Turkana, the situation is changing. Through Food for Assets, malnourished people get the food they need to survive while preparing their land for future food security. © 2017 World Vision/ photo by Jon Warren