For Immediate Release
Mercy Corps Praises Obama Administration’s Commitment to the World’s Hungry
Administration’s announcement at G-8 summit marks a break with aid “business as usual”; Agency lauds investment in women, helping families feed themselves
PORTLAND, Ore. - The global relief and
development agency Mercy Corps today applauded the Obama administration's
announcement of a $3.5-billion investment in agriculture programs over three
years to help feed the world's poor. The announcement was part of a
broader, $20-billion commitment to agriculture made by world leaders at the G-8
summit in L'Aquila, Italy.
"Today's news demonstrates the Obama administration's
leadership on ending global hunger. We are very encouraged by their thoughtful,
strategic view of the resources families need to feed themselves over the long
term," said Mercy Corps President Nancy Lindborg. "This is a clear
break from the ‘business as usual' of food-aid policies."
The administration detailed investments in agriculture that would
enable people to break out of cycles of dependence on food assistance. The
announcement underscored support for the efforts of women in farming and
emphasized various aspects of agricultural development, including increased
productivity, agricultural-related infrastructure, and training and research.
"The administration is spot-on in its recognition of the role of
women, who are often the farmers, breadwinners, and nutrition and health
providers for their children. Supporting them goes a long way toward helping
families climb out of hunger," explained Lindborg.
Mercy Corps predicted that the measures announced today will have an
important impact on the world's poorest people. "We applaud this
comprehensive vision of hunger-fighting efforts. For rural families, resources
like high-quality seeds, irrigation systems, and connections to markets are
essential. But many impoverished people also need access to emergency food
supplies, and health and nutrition assistance," concluded Lindborg.
"It is admirable that the administration intends to couple long-term and
short-term solutions to hunger."
This new support for agriculture aligns with elements of three recent
Mercy Corps initiatives: One Table, a new agency campaign to fight world hunger
by investing in women, the Hunger Roadmap, a comprehensive strategic plan to
end world hunger formulated by a consortium of aid agencies, and the Action
Center to End World Hunger, an innovative public learning space in New York City that
inspires visitors of all ages to combat global hunger and poverty.
Mercy Corps' "One Table" campaign, launched last month, advocates
for policies and programs that recognize of the critical role women play in
feeding families in the developing world.
The Roadmap, unveiled in February, has been endorsed by numerous
government leaders, and served as the basis for legislation on global hunger
that was introduced in June.
The Action Center to End World Hunger, located in New York City, uses
interactive multimedia exhibits, youth workshops and public events to build a
movement of people who want to work for global change. It also lives online at
The G-8 commitment builds on a promise made by the President Obama at
the G-20 meeting in April to double funding for food security programs to $1
billion, and increase the flexibility and effectiveness of this assistance.
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Mercy Corps helps people in the world's toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress. Driven by local needs and market conditions, our programs provide communities with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives. Our worldwide team of 3,700 professionals is improving the lives of 14.5 million people in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.mercycorps.org.
The One Table Campaign aims to influence government policy, raise awareness and fund programs that support women's roles in strengthening food security in the developing world. The campaign is inspired by Mercy Corps' belief that investing in women is one of the smartest ways to end hunger - and improve the well-being of entire families. We're calling our campaign One Table because global hunger is a shared problem that demands a collective solution. To get involved, visit http://onetable.mercycorps.org.