Food Security & Global Hunger
More than one billion people — one sixth of the world's population — suffer from chronic hunger. Without enough food, adults struggle to work and children struggle to learn. Global food supplies must increase by an estimated 50 percent to meet expected demand in the next 20 years. Advancing sustainable agricultural-led growth increases the availability of food, keeps food affordable, and raises the incomes of the poor.
- Feed the Future (U.S. Government)
- Global Hunger & Food Security (U.S. State Department)
- Food Security (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
- Fact sheet: Feed The Future Initiative
- Fact sheet: Food Prices Crisis of 2007-2008: Lessons Learned
- Fact sheet: International Agricultural Commodity Prices
- Fact sheet: U.S. Government's Feed the Future Initiative Helps Countries Cope with Rising Food Prices
- Water Issues (an IIPDigital collection)
13 February 2014 World Acceptance of Biotech Crops Continues to Grow Acceptance of crops developed through biotechnology continued to expand in 2013 with more than 18 million farmers in 27 countries planting more than 175 million hectares with scientifically improved seeds that produced high yields of food, feed and fiber, according to an international agricultural research group. The United States supports the safe use of science and technology, including biotechnology, to help meet agricultural challenges and consumer needs of the 21st century. It has supported ISAAA’s work through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
27 November 2013 Food Prices Decline but Near Record Highs, World Bank Says World food prices continued to decline during the five-month period ending in October, thanks to record harvests of wheat, maize and rice, stronger global stocks and a weakened dollar, the World Bank reports.
13 November 2013 U.S. Grants in East Africa Pay Off in Better Crops, More Food With funding and technical support from the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF), technicians in an agro-biotechnology laboratory are developing the tools to combat hunger and improve agricultural yields in rural Uganda. USADF funding has helped Agro-Genetic Technologies Limited (AGT), a private company in Kampala, create more resilient staple crops, such as coffee and bananas, USADF said in a recent news release.
31 October 2013 Innovations Key to Hunger Reduction, USAID Chief Says Agricultural products and technologies recently employed in low-income countries around the world have significantly reduced hunger and poverty, says the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
01 October 2013 Agricultural Sustainability - The U.S. Approach A sustainability seminar by the U.S. Department of Agriculture with speaker materials available in PDF form.
19 September 2013 U.S. Food Assistance to Benefit More than 10.5 Million in 2013 The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that fiscal year 2013 food program allocations will benefit more than 10.5 million people worldwide. The food assistance will be funded by the Food for Progress and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition allocations, USDA said in a news release.
26 September 2013 Agricultural Sustainability – The U.S. Approach A seminar by the London office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
13 September 2013 Policymakers Urged to Consider Link of Food Prices to Conflict Since rapid jumps in prices for major grains sparked civil unrest in more than 40 countries in 2008, policymakers and academics have been paying more attention to the influence food price hikes can have on conflict and the influence conflict can have on food security. Food security has four dimensions: a sufficient supply of food from production and trade; the ability to afford to purchase food in markets or produce it oneself; access to safe and nutritious food; and access to food at all times despite changes in prices.
28 August 2013 USAID-Starbucks Partnership to Benefit Colombia Coffee Farmers The U.S. Agency for International Development and Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee Company have created a three-year, $3 million investment partnership to deliver training and farming support to 25,000 coffee growers in Colombia.
21 August 2013 Food Prices Drop, But Subsidies Still a Concern, World Bank Says Prices of internationally traded food commodities continued to fall from February to June for the third consecutive quarter since their historic peak in August 2012, according to the World Bank. Some countries with weak safety nets are responding to price uncertainty by scaling up food subsidies that the World Bank says are counterproductive.
24 July 2013 Biotechnology Developer to Receive World Food Prize Along with American Mary-Dell Chilton and Belgium native Marc Van Montagu, Fraley was named in June as a winner of the 2013 World Food Prize, the foremost international award that recognizes individuals who have advanced the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Fraley will receive the 27th annual award October 17 at the Borlaug International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. The three are being recognized for “revolutionary biotechnology discoveries that unlocked the key to plant cell transformation.”
24 July 2013 Scientist Wins Food Prize for Key Agricultural Discovery Along with American Robert Fraley and Belgium native Marc Van Montagu, Chilton was named in June as winner of the 2013 World Food Prize, the foremost international award that recognizes individuals who have advanced the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Chilton will receive the 27th annual award October 17 at the Borlaug International Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. The three are being recognized for “revolutionary biotechnology discoveries that unlocked the key to plant cell transformation.”
01 July 2013 Feed the Future Reaches 9 Million Households The U.S. Feed the Future program helped more than 7 million farmers in 19 countries adopt improved agricultural technologies or practices in 2012, increased the value of commodity exports by $84 million, and helped bring almost 4 million hectares of farmland under better cultivation.
12 June 2013 U.S. Aid Experts Back Proposed Changes in Food Delivery Two former senior U.S. officials have urged Congress to reform the country’s system of delivering food aid to include local and regional procurements. The current U.S. food aid program requires that 50 percent of donated food aid be U.S.-produced and shipped on U.S.-flagged vessels to locations around the world.
11 June 2013 U.S. to Spend $9 Billion on Global Nutrition Through 2014 The United States plans to spend $9 billion on nutrition activities through 2014, says U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah.
07 June 2013 Report Sees Major Disruptions in Agriculture from Climate Change Expected increases in the frequency, duration and intensity of weather events driven by climate change will affect how farmers raise crops and livestock in the future, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report also says that climate change may cause geographic shifts in production that create new markets in some areas and may require some countries to rely more on agricultural imports to make up for domestic shortfalls.
05 June 2013 Biotechnology Should Be Central to Food Security, Researcher Says Scientists worldwide believe that genetic engineering should play a central role in meeting the growing global demand for food, says Jon Entine, founder of the Genetic Literacy Project. Entine said crop biotechnology first became commercially available in 1996 and is now used by 17 million farmers in 28 nations, 90 percent of them smallholders in developing countries.
04 June 2013 U.S. Agencies Campaign to Reduce Food Waste Feeding the hungry, preventing waste, saving money and cleaning the air are the multiple objectives in sight for World Environment Day 2013. U.S. government agencies join a U.N. Environment Programme campaign for preventing huge amounts of food waste that occur in nations everywhere.
04 June 2013 U.S. Researchers Search for More Nutritious Rice U.S. researchers have discovered varieties of rice that appear to have increased calcium and other varieties that keep arsenic out of developing grains, findings that eventually could benefit rice farmers and consumers around the world.
23 May 2013 Partnership Aims to Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change The United States Agency for International Development is launching a new public-private research partnership between the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and India-based Vibha Agrotech to develop new climate-resilient varieties of rice and wheat, two of the “big three” primary crops required to feed the world.
10 May 2013 USAID, Global Company Collaborate to Improve Food Security The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement May 9 with the global company Syngenta International AG that will advance U.S. efforts to fight hunger and increase food security in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
29 April 2013 U.S. to Share Data on Food, Farm, Rural Issues Shared data acquired from publicly funded research can allow farmers around the world to produce more food, says the United States’ top agriculture official. Greater access to data also can increase individuals’ access to food and “provide ladders of opportunity” for improved incomes, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said at the opening of the two-day G8 Open Data for Agriculture Conference at the World Bank in Washington.
26 April 2013 G8 Agriculture Leaders Will Open Data to the World With the goal of uniting scientific activities across borders to feed the world, agricultural leaders from the Group of Eight (G8) advanced economies will begin a two-day conference in Washington April 29. They will meet to discuss the challenges and develop policies for online global platforms to share data from publicly funded agricultural research.
11 April 2013 USAID Administrator Shah on Future of Food Assistance (via IIPDigital)
09 April 2013 Heat-Tolerant Wheat Will Withstand Global Warming Washington State University will lead a new effort to develop wheat varieties that are better at tolerating the high temperatures found in most of the world’s growing regions — temperatures that are likely to increase with global warming. The research will be supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Directorate of Wheat Research.
01 April 2013 Feed the Future Empowers Women in Agriculture A grant from the U.S. African Development Foundation enabled the COOPAVI women’s fishing cooperative in western Rwanda to receive training, buy motorboats and fishing supplies, and eventually increase its income 300 percent. Congress established the USADF in 1980 to provide grants to community groups and enterprises in Africa for the benefit of people who have needs not addressed by other governments' programs, nonprofits or international donors.
18 March 2013 Report Notes 2012 Food Policy Progress, Challenges Progress in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition was made in 2012, including increased investment commitments by major economies for agriculture and technology. But progress was uneven, and development agencies, financial institutions and governments need to take more action, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
26 February 2013 Post-Harvest Loss Prevention Can Mean More Food for All While a lot of work is being done to increase farmers’ productivity around the world, “at the same time we must also work to ensure that goods produced by farmers actually have good markets and reach consumers in good condition,” Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats said at a recent State Department forum on reducing post-harvest loss and waste.
19 February 2013 State's Fernandez on Preventing Postharvest Loss "Today’s discussion is about three important goals: defining the problem of postharvest losses; identifying causes; and finding ways to work together toward a solution. I want to cover each of these areas briefly, but I would like to stress that the real experts are the rest of you in the room. I hope that together we can have a real conversation and I hope together we can work toward a sustainable solution to this global problem."
14 February 2013 Crop Preservation Focus of State Dept. Forum Preserving crops from the time they are harvested until they reach consumers is the focus of a February 19 State Department forum for diplomats from Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, researchers, and business executives.
10 December 2012 Better Common Bean Production Would Boost Global Food Security The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) December 7 awarded five grants totaling $4.5 million in support of research to improve the production of the common bean, a main staple produced throughout food insecure areas of the world, including East and southern Africa.
26 November 2012 Agricultural Development Gets Doubled U.S. Investment Through the Feed the Future initiative, U.S. government research investments in global food security more than doubled from $50 million in 2008 to $120 million in 2011, according a report released in October.
06 November 2012 U.S. Envoy at U.N. on Agricultural Development, Food Security
22 October 2012 World Food Prize Laureate Urges Sustainable Food Production Ensuring efficient and sustainable management of land, water and
biotic resources to produce more food while protecting the environment
is a challenge to the current generation and to future generations, says
2012 World Food Prize laureate Daniel Hillel. "Today, farmers using micro-irrigation produce high-yield, nutritious
crops on more than 6 million hectares worldwide. Dr. Hillel’s work will
become even more important as we grapple with how to feed the world’s
growing population," Secretary of State Clinton said at the ceremony.
• World Food Prize Winner Pioneers Dry-Area Irrigation
22 October 2012 George McGovern, Champion in Fight Against Hunger, Dead at 90 The world lost a leader in the war against hunger when George
McGovern, a former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, died October
21 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was 90 years old.
• Statement of the President on the Death of George McGovern
19 October 2012 U.S. Food Program Marks Progress Helping Farmers, Children The United States’ global food security program Feed the Future has helped 1.8 million food producers adopt improved technologies or management practices that can lead to more resilient crops, higher yields and increased incomes.
19 October 2012 Barley Genome Analysis May Lead to Higher Yields An international scientific team is mapping the genetic code that makes barley the grain that it is. The work could lead agricultural researchers to higher barley crop yields, greater nutritional value and better pest and disease resistance. Agricultural science has made significant progress in recent years, using genomics to map food crops such as tomato and corn. But barley was a greater challenge from the outset.
16 October 2012 U.S. Pledges Continued Support for Global Agriculture The United States will contribute up to $475 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), promising to give $1 for every $2 committed by other donors. “The United States is demonstrating once again its commitment to lead the global fight against hunger and malnutrition,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at an event co-hosted by Japan and the World Bank.
10 October 2012 Goal for Reducing World Hunger Reachable, U.N. Reports
27 September 2012 Clinton at Feed the Future Partnership with Civil Society
“Food security is now at the top of our national and foreign policy agendas, as well as that of so many other nations in the world,” Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said.
24 September 2012 World Bank Supports Global Agriculture As Food Prices Spike The World Bank has increased its support for global agriculture to its highest level in 20 years and has pledged to continue helping countries respond to recent food price hikes, says World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
19 September 2012 World Food Day Unites People in Fight Against Hunger Cooperative enterprises that produce and market food bring higher yields, better quality products and greater profits to many farmers than if they worked alone, says the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To acknowledge the role cooperatives play in the goal of global food security, the FAO has made the theme for World Food Day 2012 "Agricultural cooperatives — key to feeding the world."
20 August 2012 Championing for Change Against Global Hunger Through Feed the Future, we support countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur inclusive economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger and poverty.
17 August 2012 Weather Causes Rise in Food Prices; Research Holds Promise The G20 worries that the drought will lead some countries to take drastic measures to keep the prices of grains from rising, like placing embargoes on their food exports.
25 June 2012 New Treaty Emerges to Fight Starvation, Malnutrition A new international treaty to facilitate delivery of food to places beset by famine or malnutrition has emerged from the negotiating room. The Food Assistance Convention was adopted in London and replaced the Food Aid Convention that expired in 2002.
18 April 2012 Boosts in Harvests Can Fight Poverty Says USAID Administrator Investments in agriculture in developing countries can yield six times more in productivity than investments in manufacturing or services, says the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He said agriculture needs to be treated as a business, not solely as a development issue. He pointed to science and technology investment successes USAID has brought to two Asian nations.
13 April 2012 Women Need More Resources to Produce More Food, Expert Says Global food production could increase 30 percent if women farmers get the same access to resources as men, says U.S. food and agriculture expert Catherine Bertini, a professor of public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University in New York. More access to credit, land ownership, primary and secondary education, extension services and even mobile phones can help women boost their farm production and family incomes.
05 April 2012 Modern Agricultural Production Continues to Increase Yields Since the 1980s, large-scale conventional crop farming has increasingly produced higher yields while using less fertilizer and water, and fewer chemical pesticides. One big factor affecting higher yields was the commercial introduction in 1996 of disease- and insect-resistant seeds improved through biotechnology, also known as genetically modified seeds.
16 October 2011 Secretary Clinton’s Statement on World Food Day "The United States will continue to provide food aid during these crisis situations, but long-term solutions to food security must be treated with the same sense of urgency. "
13 October 2011 Feed the Future Makes Progress on Food Security The Feed the Future program to increase agricultural production, raise rural incomes and improve nutrition in developing countries continues to make progress, two top U.S. agricultural development experts say. Jonathan Shrier of the State Department and Greg Gottlieb of the U.S. Agency for International Development discussed the three-year-old program during a State Department webcast
22 September 2011 Private Sector Joins USAID in Improving Food Security in Africa The chickpea might be the key to greater agricultural production and improved food security in Ethiopia. A plan to increase chickpea production is being developed to that end by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Food Programme and the PepsiCo Foundation.
06 September 2011 Somalia’s Famine-Affected Area Expands Famine conditions are creeping across southern Somalia, reports an analysis group, with six regions of the country now affected and 750,000 people now facing “imminent starvation.” While malnutrition and the potential for famine are most serious in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are also facing severe food shortages. More than 12 million people are estimated to be in need across the four nations.
22 August 2011 Food Insecurity in Eastern Africa Continent's Worst in 20 Years The worst drought in more than half a century in Eastern Africa has brought on the region’s worst food insecurity in 20 years, according to an assessment of conditions in the region released by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit–Somalia. U.S. and international estimates find that more than 12 million people in this region are expected to be affected by the widespread food insecurity.
15 August 2011 Agriculture by the Numbers This is an update of the article “By the Numbers,” which appeared in the eJournal 21st-Century Agriculture, published in March 2010.
18 July 2011 Global Water Issues - eJournal Global Water Issues explores the political, social and economic challenges presented by threats to Earth’s most vital natural resource. With a foreword by U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero, Global Water Issues describes how this ecological emergency affects population centers, human health, climate and food security.
28 June 2011 Hope Grows Among Scientists Trying to Stop Wheat Rust While the breadbasket of Pakistan and India is threatened by a deadly wheat rust disease, researchers believe they may have discovered strains of wheat that can resist the disease known as “Ug99.”
21 June 2011 Two Former Presidents Win World Food Prize Two former presidents have won the 2011 World Food Prize. The foundation that gives the prize has honored John Agyekum Kufuor, president of Ghana from 2001 to 2009, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leader of Brazil between 2003 and 2009, for putting into place policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries.
17 June 2011 High Prices Threaten Food Security The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization have released their Agricultural Outlook 2011–2020 report. This says that the outlook for world agricultural output and food supplies is positive in the near future, but projects higher prices and persistent volatility in commodity supplies and prices several years out.
12 June 2011 More U.S. Support to Combat Hunger and Malnutrition in Tanzania Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the Obama administration is increasing funding for Tanzanian nutritional programs as part of its Feed the Future initiative and pledged the administration’s commitment to Tanzania’s agricultural sector.
12 June 2011 Remarks by Clinton, Others on Nutrition, 1,000 Days Initiative Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Tanzanian Prime Minster Mizengo Pinda and Irish Deputy Prime Minister Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at the High-Level Meeting on Nutrition and 1,000 Days Initiative
06 May 2011 Farmers Need More Market Information, Clinton Says Market-based approaches to food production and access can blunt the negative impact of rising global food prices, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says. Clinton encouraged countries to improve and share information about food production; abstain from export bans, quotas and taxes; discourage panic buying and hoarding; and establish programs to get food to the people at greatest risk.
04 March 2011 Global Food Prices Reach Record High in February Global food prices reached a record-high level in February, driven mainly by higher prices for cereals, meat and dairy products. The increases have raised concerns that millions more people could be pushed further into poverty and civil unrest could result, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
03 March 2011 Two new fact sheets are available from the Department of State:
- Fact sheet: Food Prices Crisis of 2007-2008: Lessons Learned
- Fact sheet: International Agricultural Commodity Prices
29 December 2010 New Crops Bring More Nutrients to Hungry Crop breeders are developing new varieties of seven staple food crops, each with high levels of essential micronutrients and each with potential for rewarding farmers who grow them with higher yields.
16 August 2010 Speech by Secretary Clinton on U.S. Global Health Initiative
16 August 2010 Fact Sheet on U.S. Global Health Initiative The U.S. to invest $63 billion to help partner countries improve health system
18 June 2010 The World Food Prize - What Is It? When Norman Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, the citation praised him for "providing bread for a hungry world." Borlaug was honored for developing high-yield strains of wheat that averted famine in Asia in the 1960s. Yet, in his acceptance speech, he said there were many others who deserved the award as much as he did.
06 May 2010 Hunger Numbers Worldwide Continue to Rise Hunger numbers are rising as the developing world continues to deal with the compounding effects of a global financial crisis and a global food crisis, warns the executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran. Sheeran discussed global hunger recently at a briefing in Washington.
18 November 2009 U.S. Pledges $3.5 Billion to Spur Agriculture-Led Economic Growth The United States will invest $3.5 billion over three years to spur agricultural growth in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. “Let us mark 2009 as the year in which we reversed the decline in investment in agriculture and took up the challenge to ensure global food security for all,” said Alonzo Fulgham, acting administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, November 17 at the World Summit on Food Security in Rome.
16-18 November 2009 : World Summit on Food Security (links to www.fao.org)
18 November 2009 News from the Summit
• World Summit on Food Security Declaration (PDF, 7 pages) (PDF 63KB)
• Statement of the head of the U.S. Delegation to the Summit, Alonzo Fulgham (U.S. Embassy Rome website)
16 November 2009 Rome Summit Seeks to Promote Food Security Worldwide The November 16–18 World Summit on Food Security offers a chance to broaden the international coalition working to promote greater food security for the more than 1 billion chronically hungry people who are now at risk worldwide. Franklin C. Moore, deputy assistant administrator in the Africa Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and USAID’s coordinator for food security, made that point in an interview with America.gov just before leaving for the Rome summit, which is being sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Moore is part of the U.S. delegation attending the event, which more than 60 heads of state and government are expected to attend.
16 November 2009 Food Security Top Priority for Obama Administration Food security is one of the top issues worldwide and a “very top priority” for the Obama administration, says longtime food security advocate Tony Hall, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. World Food Programme and former U.S. lawmaker, who spent 24 years in Congress working to feed the hungry worldwide. Hall, who is the executive director of the Washington-based Alliance to End Hunger, discussed food security policy with America.gov on the eve of the World Summit on Food Security in Rome.
13 November 2009 Report Links Agriculture Successes to Food Security Successes in agricultural development that have significantly reduced world hunger are highlighted in a new report from a research group.Millions Fed: Proven Successes In Agricultural Development, released November 12 by the International Food Policy Research Institute, is the first compilation of successes linked to increased food security.The full text of the report (PDF, 17.3MB) is available on the Web site of the International Food Policy Research Institute.
16 October 2009 Secretary Clinton's Statement on World Food Day
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.