Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Role of the United States in Fighting Global Hunger

As one of the rich and powerful countries in the world, the United States (US) aka Uncles Sam does his best to be a good neighbor to poor nations. Citing 201 data released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), the World Hunger Education Service (WHES) reveals a total of 925 million hungry people worldwide, with 907 million living in developing countries. This situation can be attributed to lack of concern for agriculture, the global economic crisis, and increased food prices (FAO in WHES, 2011).
To help address global hunger and food security, the US government launched Feed the Future (FTF) in 2009. With his pledge of $3.5 billion, President Barack Obama rallied other donor states to help impoverished families and communities, resulting in almost $19 billion more funds. According to Feed the Future Guide, such multilateral initiative targets agricultural development and improved nutrition as key parts of its comprehensive approach. Each partner country is given the opportunity to identify investment areas, ranging from school dietary programming to rural credit. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will help formulate a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure the sustainability of the program. Thus, as the Bread for the World Institute (BWI) explains in its 2011 Hunger Report, the US plays a crucial role in leading international efforts to overcome hunger.

Various non-profit groups augment the role of the US in resolving this global problem. These include Salvation Army, Action Against Hunger, Food for the Hungry, and The Hunger Project which have partner agencies in poor, developing countries (The American Institute of Philanthropy, 2011).  This only shows that, together with their government, the American public recognizes the collective responsibility in helping create a hunger-free global community.  Though not everyone will agree that the US has been a good neighbor, given Uncle Sam's role in supporting dictatorships and commercial violence in the form of wars, as well as in quelling dissent and leading trade embargoes in foreign lands, it cannot be denied that the Americans also have done favorable measures to help those who are asking for their help, including countries that continue to struggle against hunger and poverty.  


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