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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launches National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and described the institute as “the Department’s extramural research enterprise.” Secretary Vilsack stated that one of the goals for NIFA is to “support our ability to keep American agriculture competitive while ending world hunger.”

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.”

PEPFAR, USAID, and General Mills announce partnership to improve food processing in Africa

During the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, PEPFAR and USAID announced a partnership with General Mills to “improve the capacity of small and medium-sized food businesses across sub-Saharan Africa to produce healthy, fortified food products.”

In a press release about the partnership, Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, stated that “if PEPFAR HIV/AIDS programs and broader health and development efforts are going to be sustainable, they must be owned and led by partner countries . . . This partnership with General Mills and USAID will support local food companies to help meet the nutritional needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, while bringing health benefits to the larger population through improved nutrition and broader economic development.”

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. 3560 – 21st Century Global Health Technology Act

The proposed bill would establish the “Health Technology Program” within USAID to “develop, advance, and introduce affordable, available, and appropriate technologies specifically designed: a) to improve the health and nutrition of developing country populations; b) to reduce maternal and child mortality; and c) to improve the diagnosis, prevention and reduction of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other major diseases.” The bill requires that program funding be provided by USAID on a competitive basis and that the USAID Administrator provide an annual report to Congress on the progress and outlook of the program. Finally, the bill authorizes the appropriation of $5 million for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

USAID releases “Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010″

USAID released “Report to Congress: Health-Related Research and Development Activities at USAID, An Updated on the Five Year Strategy, 2006-2010.” The report provides an update on USAID’s “strategy for using research funds to stimulate the development and introduction of key products” and highlights research in the following areas: maternal and newborn health; child, environmental, and urban health; nutrition; reproductive health and family planning; HIV/AIDS; malaria; tuberculosis; and health systems strengthening.