WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 1, 2022) – Farm Journal Foundation is pleased that bills to reauthorize the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) have been introduced in both houses of Congress, paving the way for support for U.S. programs that alleviate hunger, malnutrition, and poverty worldwide.
The Senate version of the bill (S. 4649) introduced last week was led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR). The House version (H.R. 8446) was led by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX).
The legislation authorizes funding for global food security programs under the whole-of-government Feed the Future initiative, which focuses on supporting agriculture and local food systems in developing countries to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. Key U.S. government agencies involved in the initiative include the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of State, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
While agricultural research and innovation are elevated as U.S. priorities, the legislation does not authorize a specific amount of funding for these investments, which are increasingly critical as global food prices and rates of hunger are both rising sharply due to the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Publicly funded agricultural research is crucial because it can help fill research gaps left by the private sector and open up access to new technologies to hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers in developing countries, easing global hunger and malnutrition.
“The U.S. has long been a leader in creating a safer, more food secure world for all, and during this current time of crisis, we must double down on our collective efforts and not lose sight of the importance of prioritizing long-term agricultural development and innovation,” said Katie Lee, Vice President of Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation. “Current high food, fuel, and fertilizer costs underscore just how important it is to invest in local agricultural production, nutritious food systems, and agricultural research.”
Since the GFSA was first signed into law in 2016 with broad bipartisan support, U.S. international development programs have helped lift millions of people out of hunger and poverty. New legislation would reauthorize Feed the Future’s work and increased funding for an additional five years.
Whitney McFerron, Communications Director
Farm Journal Foundation
About Farm Journal Foundation
Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food security, agricultural research and development, nutrition, and conservation agriculture. To learn more, visit www.farmjournalfoundation.org.