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Administrator Shah discusses U.S. efforts to address food security at the World Food Prize Conference

During remarks at the World Food Prize Conference, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah discussed the changes in the way the U.S. works to improve food security through Feed the Future (FtF) including, among other things, the establishment of a Bureau for Food Security at USAID, the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative also at USAID, the Global Security Food Trust Fund housed at the World Bank, and focusing on vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and infants. Additionally, Administrator Shah announced a new effort – the Feed the Future Private Investment Center – aimed at fostering public-private partnerships in the 20 FtF pilot countries.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testifies before Congress on the FY 2011 Agriculture Budget

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testified before the House Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies) on the FY 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget request and USDA’s role in addressing global food insecurity through capacity building programs, partnerships with other U.S. departments and agencies, and funding for emergency and non-emergency food assistance.

CRS Report – State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2010 Budget and Appropriations

From the report summary: “This report analyzes the FY2010 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action for FY2010, which includes the July 9 House approval of H.R. 3081, the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY2010, July 9 Senate Appropriations Committee passage of its bill (S. 1434), and passage of H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, signed into law Dec. 16, 2009 (P.L. 111-117).”

CRS Report – International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues

This report provides an overview of U.S. food aid programs and highlights specific issues for Congress including “improving aid effectiveness; developing “demand-driven” strategies that take into account the recipient country’s needs and strategic plans for food security; determining the best form for providing food aid and assistance, whether in the form of cash or commodities; . . . and determining the cost-effectiveness of U.S. cargo preferences for delivering U.S. food aid.”

USDA announces program to develop more nutritious humanitarian food aid packages

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) “announced a new grant program to develop healthier food products for humanitarian assistance programs.” The program will award approximately $3.8 million in grants in Fiscal Year 2010.

Senate Appropriations Committee releases FY11 Omnibus Appropriations Act

The Senate Committee on Appropriations released the text of the FY 2011 Omnibus Act with the following funding levels:

Total Funding for State & Foreign Operations: $53.5 billion ($3.1 billion below the President’s FY11 request; $4.7 billion above the FY10 enacted level)

Global Health and Child Survival Account (GHCS): $8.22 billion ($291 million below the President’s request; $443 million above the FY10 enacted level) with funding for specific areas is as follows:
Maternal and Child Health: $761 million

- Family Planning and Reproductive Health: $710 million which includes funding from multiple accounts and provides $57.5 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

- HIV/AIDS activities and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: $5.85 billion:
HIV/AIDS: $5.025 billion

- Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria contribution: $825 million (Note: An additional $300 million is appropriated for the Global Fund through the Department of Health and Human Services bringing total FY11 contribution to $1.125 billion.)

Millennium Challenge Corporation: $1.10 billion ($174.7 million below the President’s FY11 request; equal to the FY10 enacted level)

Food Security and Agricultural Development: $1.4 billion ($244 million below the President’s FY11 request)

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack discusses Global Food Security

During remarks at the Partners in Agriculture Global Food Security Symposium, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed the importance of investing in long-term efforts to improve food security, the G8 agriculture ministers meeting, and stated that “food security efforts must be country-led and country-driven and focused at the local and community level.”

GAO Report – Global Food Security: U.S. Agencies Progressing on Governmentwide Strategy, but Approach Faces Several Vulnerabilities

For this report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “examined (1) the types and funding of food security programs and activities of relevant U.S. government agencies; and (2) progress in developing an integrated U.S. governmentwide strategy to address global food insecurity as well as potential vulnerabilities of that strategy.”

Based on its analysis, the GAO provided two recommendations to the Secretary of State to improve U.S. global food security efforts: “(1) develop an operational definition of food security that is accepted by all U.S. agencies, establish a methodology for consistently reporting comprehensive data across agencies, and periodically inventory agencies’ food security-related programs and funding; and (2) collaborate with other agency heads to finalize a governmentwide strategy that delineates measures to mitigate the risks associated with the host country-led approach.”

Administration remarks at the 2010 International Food Aid and Development Conference

During the 2010 International Food Aid and Development Conference (IFADC), Ambassador William Garvelink, Deputy Coordinator for Development of Feed the Future, provided remarks on U.S. efforts to improve food security through the Feed the Future (FtF) initiative and discussed the five principles to achieving “sustainable global food security” established at the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy including: investing in country-owned plans; strengthening coordination; ensuring a comprehensive approach; leveraging multilateral institutions; and delivering sustained and accountable commitments.

In a USDA blog post titled “Agriculture Key to Food Security,” Undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Jim Miller reflected on the IFADC and described the role of agriculture in FtF.

USDA and Israeli Agriculture Ministry sign research agreement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Research Service (ARS) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MOARD) of the State of Israel signed an agreement “to collaborate on research to meet the world’s food and fiber needs and address other high-priority agricultural issues.”