Hunger is a pressing global concern. Last year the number of people that suffered from chronic hunger topped one billion people. Agricultural development is a springboard for broader economic development and food security is the foundation for peace and opportunity. The United States' vision for a more peaceful world centers on enhancing prosperity by elevating development as part of American foreign policy.
Toward this end, the United States has released its strategy for food security, outlined in the Feed the Future Guide. Through this program, the U.S. will invest at least 3.5 billion dollars over a three-year period to boost the role of agriculture and nutrition in our development efforts, and to reduce hunger and food insecurity. An additional 18.5 billion dollars was pledged by donors around the world in support of the same goals.
To achieve results, Feed the Future seeks to align resources with country-owned and developed plans and foster sustained, multi-stakeholder partnerships – particularly among civil society, the private sector, and governments -- to reduce hunger and poverty.
Through these investments in a limited number of potential focus countries, Feed the Future will help these countries achieve sustainable, agricultural-led growth.
Included in these plans will be support for women as agricultural producers and as critical actors in creating food security. Women produce 60-80 percent of the food in many developing countries. And when women control gains in income, they're far more likely than men to spend those gains improving their families' access to health, education, and nutrition.
Thus, an area of focus under Feed the Future will be crops such as sweet potatoes and legumes that can enhance the standing of women, their production and incomes.
Investments in agricultural productivity, together with improved markets and new research, will increase food supplies and reduce prices for millions of people worldwide. Feed the Future will devote at least 9 percent of its resources to research.
The impact of this commitment will be multiplied by the contributions from host countries, the private sector, and other partner investments. With many countries, businesses, and organizations working together, our common goal to sharply reduce the number of people who die each day from a lack of food is within reach.