The United States government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future, is being expanded to eight new countries in Africa, President Joe Biden announced. This increased investment will mean added resources to combat outbreaks of pests like fall armyworm and diseases like cassava brown streak in some countries.
Feed the Future will now be expanded to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia. This expands its global footprint from 12 to 20 target countries.
The programme responds to each country’s level of need and attempts to harness the power of agriculture to drive economic growth and transform food systems.
The new countries were prioritised based on a combination of underlying food insecurity, poverty, and malnutrition, including impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Each government’s commitment to tackle these deep-rooted issues in partnership with the United States, the U.S. Embassy in the DRC said in a news release.
“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.”
Biden, who made the announcement in Germany at the G7 Leaders’ Summit, committed US$5 billion over five years in September 2021 to end global hunger and malnutrition and build sustainable, resilient food systems.
To respond to the global food security crisis, Feed the Future is focusing on four major lines of effort: mitigating the global fertiliser 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, programmes 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 DRC USAID is investing in combatting both fall armyworm and cassava brown streak disease. 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.
The U.S. government agency is also expanding its geographic focus to work with an additional 350,000 farmers to fight fall Armyworm in the DRC. This will help protect maize crops and increase food production in the DRC to address food shortages and reduce dependency on food imports.
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