The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is at the forefront of the global fight against poverty and hunger. In 2018 alone, USAID contributed more than 3.7 billion dollars in food assistance, helping 68 million people, according to USAID Administrator Mark Green. “USAID remains the largest contributor to the World Food Program,” he said.
However, humanitarian assistance is a short term solution, not a cure. Those in need must have an opportunity to make a living for themselves.
Speaking at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium, Administrator Green said, “Lives are lifted on the community level when farmers and families are enabled and empowered where they live. That is why USAID is entering into three new Feed the Future partnerships,” Administrator Green announced.
First, USAID will soon launch a major new collaboration opportunity for businesses, NGOs, universities and others. Together, they will co-create USAID’s next generation of agricultural biotech investments aimed at helping smallholder farmers in developing countries tackle their agricultural challenges:
“ This new opportunity includes support to critical innovations such as improved seed to help farmers better handle the next drought or resist the next pest invasion.”
Second, he announced the launch of a new Feed the Future Innovation Lab for crop improvement. This project will be led by Cornell University.
Third, USAID will partner with MasterCard to help farmers access the financial resources they need to invest in their own businesses:
“ USAID will bring a network of farmers and agro businesses across sub-Saharan Africa ready to pilot the new finance technologies. Together, we’ll help connect rural communities to formal finance and markets.”
Fourth, a new collaboration between USAID and the John Deere Company will facilitate access to the tools, machinery and finance that smallholder farmers, especially women, need to thrive.
And finally, USAID will create a new bureau for Resilience and Food Security that will provide tools that people need to feed themselves and to climb from poverty:
“The bureau will bridge the gap between food assistance, humanitarian aid and food security, helping families and communities take ownership of their lives and livelihoods.”
“Every human being, every community, instinctively wants a hand up, not a handout,” said Administrator Green.“And USAID wants to help them get there.”