Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Allan Jury of the World Food Programme on H.R. 2817

Bill H. R. 2817 is a measure being considered in Congress to give more money and support to the World Food Programme. Recently the WFP has had to make some cutbacks in the emergency feeding programs and school feeding programs for children in the under-developed world.

The WFP has been asking for mory money from governments around the world, but support has been slow due to the global recession. The WFP hopes that the passage of H.R. 2817 will bring in more from the US.

We found this interview with Alan Jury of the WFP in the American Chronicle that asks him about the bill and why the WFP needs more from the US.

U.S. leadership is needed to rally the world in the struggle to defeat hunger. There is legislation in Congress titled the Roadmap to End Global Hunger (H.R. 2817) that would craft the U.S. response to the crisis. Allan Jury, director of WFP US relations, recently discussed the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation.

More than 1 billion people now suffer from chronic hunger worldwide. How important is it for the U.S. Congress to act on the Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation?

The world has made great strides against hunger and poverty in recent decades: starting in the 1960s, the percentage of chronically hungry people declined from 37 percent of the world's population to about 13 percent today. Tragically, the twin catastrophes of the global food and financial crises are starting to reverse these hard-won gains, producing an unprecedented rise in absolute numbers of the hungry.

Much of the progress the world has made is due in no small part to US foreign assistance and the generosity of American citizens. The Roadmap builds on this legacy of US leadership in helping the world's hungry poor to construct a broad framework of legislative actions that encompasses the spectrum of anti-hunger efforts - from food and interventions to agricultural programs that help small-scale farmers. The Roadmap legislation has bipartisan sponsorship from two of the leading Congressional voices in the fight against hunger - Rep. James McGovern and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. The legislation is based on a report authored by six of the leading U.S. international humanitarian organizations which has been endorsed by more than 30 aid agencies.

We believe that this vision of invigorated US global leadership on hunger is vital not only for moral and humanitarian reasons, but for social, economic and political security in the longer term.

How would the Roadmap legislation change the way the international community works with the United States Government on fighting global hunger?

The legislation would require a comprehensive US strategy to fighting hunger that would increase investments in four areas - emergency food assistance, food safety nets, nutrition and agricultural development.

Increased investments in all four of these areas is essential to making a significant impact in reducing hunger. The roadmap highlights the need to broaden the range of activities supported by the US Government to support hunger reduction to complement essential existing food aid and agricultural development programs. More use of cash for emergency responses such as local and regional purchase and food vouchers; expansion of national food safety nets; focused interventions on prenatal and children under 2 nutritional needs, and innovative technical assistance programs to increase agricultural development are supported by the roadmap.

The Roadmap would also establish a US government coordination structure that would support effective implementation of a comprehensive US strategy on international hunger reduction. This would provide the policy, institutional, and program framework to secure the US role as the global leader in building an international coalition to fight hunger.

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