At the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Germany, President Biden announced that the United States is expanding Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, to reach new countries and intensify efforts to directly address and mitigate the impacts of recent shocks to global food security and nutrition.
Countries already reeling from increased poverty, hunger, and malnutrition as a result of COVID-19, climatic shocks, severe drought in the Horn of Africa, and protracted conflict now face further suffering from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Today’s crisis calls for an expansion of our efforts through Feed the Future. The U.S. government is announcing the expansion of Feed the Future to eight new target countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. These countries were prioritized based on a combination of underlying food insecurity, poverty, and malnutrition, including impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the opportunity – and each government’s commitment – to tackle these deep-rooted issues in partnership with us. In these countries, the U.S. government takes a coordinated approach to its investments and in turn, paves the way for further resources and investments from other actors, such as the private sector, donors, and local governments.
This expands Feed the Future’s global footprint from 12 to 20 target countries and delivers on President Biden’s commitment in September 2021 of $5 billion over five years to end global hunger and malnutrition and build sustainable, resilient food systems. Feed the Future programming responds to each country’s level of need and harnesses the power of agriculture to drive economic growth and transform food systems in the country and the region.
To respond to the global food security crisis, Feed the Future is focusing on four major lines of effort: mitigating the global fertilizer shortage, increasing investments in agricultural capacity and resilience, cushioning the macroeconomic shock and impact on poor people, and sustaining high-level global political engagement. Funded at more than $1 billion per year, Feed the Future has existing technical expertise, programs and partners in more than 35 countries that are being leveraged to mitigate the impacts of this latest global shock and address the root causes of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a new Feed the Future target country, USAID is building on existing multisectoral programming by redoubling Feed the Future investments in areas of highest need by implementing the Fall Armyworm activity, and the Controlling the Cassava Brown Streak Disease activity. With these investments, USAID will work with an additional 15,000 cassava producers to expand production of high-quality cassava flour to reduce the demand on imported wheat flour and diversify value chain opportunities. USAID is also expanding its geographic focus to work with an additional 350,000 farmers to fight Fall Armyworm. This will help protect maize crops and increase food production in the DRC to address food shortages and reduce dependency on food imports.
USAID also recognizes the critical need to address nutrition through both the health system and food system. Through its health activities, the Integrated Health Program and the MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience, additional Feed the Future resources will help reach nearly 640,000 highest-risk children in five provinces with lifesaving nutrition promotion, protection, and support. This includes children in conflict-affected communities in North Kivu, where USAID’s development and humanitarian assistance partners are closely coordinating. Enhancing these efforts with Feed the Future investments will strengthen USAID’s ability to support integrated, locally led health, nutrition, and livelihoods programming in ways that build resilience among families and communities, and across sectors and systems.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.