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GAO Report – International Food Assistance: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight

In an effort to inform the discussion on the Administration’s plans to develop a “new global approach to hunger,” GAO summarized and evaluated previous food assistance reports with the objectives of “(1) updat[ing] U.S. agencies’ responses to GAO’s previous international food assistance recommendations and (2) identif[ing] potential oversight questions for Congressional consideration.” As a result of this evalution, the GAO “identified five issues for Congressional consideration to ensure more efficient and effective international food assistance: (1) coordination and integration, (2) needs assessments and market information, (3) transportation and logistics, (4) nutrition and food quality control, and (5) monitoring and evaluation.”

State Department official discusses the Administration’s food security initiative

After Secretary Clinton’s announcement of the Administration’s food security initiative, Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff and Counselor, held a briefing to provide details and answer questions on the program. Aspects of the initiative including agricultural productivity, nutrition, U.S. government coordination, recipient country involvement, and funding were covered.

Secretary Clinton discusses the Administration’s global food security initiative at Clinton Global Initiative

During a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative, Secretary of State Clinton summarized the Obama Administration’s food security initiative stating it would be guided by five principles:

- “First, we will work with partner countries to create and implement their plans.”

- “Second, we are addressing the underlying causes of hunger.”

- “Thirdly, we will improve coordination at the country, regional, and global level.”

- “Our fourth principle is leveraging the benefits of multilateral institutions.”

- “Fifth, we pledge a long-term commitment and accountability to our efforts.”

H.R. 3077 – Global Food Security Act of 2009

The bill creates the position of “Special Coordinator for Food Security” to advise the President on international food security issues, authorizes funds for agriculture, rural development, and nutrition programs under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, and fosters collaboration between eligible countries and institutions of higher learning in order to improve agricultural productivity and alleviate hunger.

State Department releases fact sheet titled “One Table: Advancing Agriculture to End Hunger”

The State Department released a fact sheet titled “One Table: Advancing Agriculture to End Hunger” that summarizes U.S. policies aimed at addressing chronic hunger throughout the world. The fact sheet states that the U.S. “objective is to build sustainable agriculture systems so all people have reliable access to nutritious food” and includes a list of “principles” and “key areas” that guide the U.S. approach to address chronic hunger.

Secretary Clinton comments on U.S. approach to address hunger during 2009 World Food Prize Announcement Ceremony

During remarks given at the 2009 World Food Prize announcement ceremony, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that “the Obama Administration is committed to providing leadership in developing a new global approach to hunger.” In her comments, Secretary Clinton summarized a set of principles such as improving agricultural productivity, increasing trade, and maintaining natural resources that will guide U.S. efforts to support sustainable agriculture throughout the world. Secretary Clinton also stated that, in the Administration, “sustainable agriculture won’t be a side project. It is a central element of our foreign policy.”