President Obama Promotes New Initiative to Tackle Hunger in Africa
In a speech today, President Barack Obama affirmed the United States' commitment to being a leader in the fight against hunger and malnutrition around the world. He announced $3 billion in new private sector pledges to significantly increase agriculture and food production in Africa.
There are no new commitments from the U.S. government, but many see the timing of the president's remarks—at the start of a four-day period including the G-8 Summit at Camp David and NATO meetings in Chicago—as a symbol of the government’s desire to put and keep the issue on their agenda.
A special session of the G-8 will focus on African food security, and the leaders of Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania have been invited.
“We must do what we say. No empty promises.”
—President Barack Obama, on efforts to promote food security in Africa
The White House said the private sector pledges, coupled with commitments from donor countries to work with African nations on food security programs, may contribute to helping as many as 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade.
InterAction, an NGO alliance of which Action Against Hunger is a member, welcomed the private sector pledges but noted that they are not a substitute for governments meeting their pre-existing obligations around food security.
What we can all agree on is that ending hunger and promoting food security throughout Africa are topics that deserve national and international attention. We applaud the G-8 leaders for having a dialogue, and we encourage all of you, our friends and supporters, to start dialogues of your own. By starting that conversation, and making our own pledges, we too can be part of making malnutrition history. Thank you for your support!
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What is your reaction to the president's remarks? What can you do to put fighting global hunger higher on your personal agenda?