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New Alliance For Food Security And Nutrition

A Somali woman cooks food for her children in a camp set up for internally displaced people in Dinsoor, January 5, 2012.

Leaders of 43 countries and multilateral organizations endorsed the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative.

As part of the 2009 G-8 Summit, leaders of 43 countries and multilateral organizations endorsed the L’Aquila commitment to “act with the scale and urgency needed to achieve sustainable global food security.”

At the summit, President Barack Obama pledged at least $3.5 billion – not including food aid – over three years. The U.S. pledge helped to leverage more than $18.5 billion from other donors in support of an effort known as the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, or AFSI.

Before the start of the 2012 G8 Summit, President Obama announced the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which aims to lift 50 million people out of hunger and poverty over the next 10 years. Building on the L’Aquila Initiative, the G-8 will work through the New Alliance with African and other international partners to utilize private capital, new technologies and other innovations to increase sustainable agricultural productivity, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities in Africa.

Speaking at the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, President Obama said that African governments, “are committed to agricultural development and food security, agree to take the lead -- building on their own plans by making tough reforms and attracting investment. Donor countries agree to more closely align our assistance with these country plans. And the private sector -- from large multinationals to small African cooperatives, NGOs, and civil society groups -- agree to make concrete and continuing commitments as well, so that there is an alignment between all these sectors.”

The United States, said President Obama, will “continue to be the leader in times of crisis, as we’ve done as the single largest donor of aid in the Horn of Africa, and as we focus on the drought in the Sahel:”

“We will continue to make available food -- or emergency aid. That will not change. But what we do want to partner with you on is a strategy so that emergency aid becomes less and less relevant as a consequence of greater and greater sustainability within these own countries.

“I consider this a moral imperative,” said President Obama. “As the wealthiest nation on Earth, I believe the United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and to partner with others.”