Strengthening and Coordinating Development Assistance Programs

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Matt Bennett
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GLOBAL HARVEST INITIATIVE CALLS FOR STREAMLINED AND STRENGTHENED DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS TO INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY, ADDRESS FOOD SECURITY

WASHINGTON D.C. /May 31, 2011 – The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) today published its latest issue brief outlining recommendations to optimize and leverage development assistance programs in order to address global hunger and food security by sustainably increasing the rate of global agricultural productivity.

The issue brief, “Strengthening and Streamlining Development Assistance Programs,” acknowledges the benefits of the more than $58 billion in foreign assistance delivered by the U.S. Government each year, but outlines the importance of increased collaboration and efficiency among these programs and the organizations that manage them to maximize benefits and help alleviate the growing challenges of hunger and food security.

The importance of effective development assistance programs in addressing food security was recently emphasized by leading members of the U.S. Congress, the NGO community and the private sector at the May 24 Symposium on Global Agricultural and Food Security hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a May 26 hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, both held in Washington D.C.

“There are approximately one billion people currently suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition worldwide, and even small disruptions in global food supply worsen this unfortunate situation,” said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Deputy Director of the Congressional Hunger Center, a GHI Consultative Partner. “Development assistance programs like USAID’s Feed the Future and the compacts of the Millennium Challenge Corporation are critical to improving the state of hunger and food security on a global scale. With one-sixth of the world’s population in dire need, the time to act is now.”

In the issue brief, the Global Harvest Initiative urges that more emphasis be placed on approaches like the Millennium Challenge Corporation, as it has been an effective means of addressing global hunger and other development initiatives by refusing to operate in areas where corruption is evident and focusing on basic infrastructure to foster private sector-led economic growth.

“In a world with limited resources for development assistance, it is crucial to leverage and streamline these resources to increase the rate of agricultural productivity and meet the needs of a growing population,” said Dr. William G. Lesher, Executive Director of the Global Harvest Initiative. “By working to make development assistance programs more efficient and effective, we can accelerate progress toward alleviating global hunger and strengthening food security worldwide.”

The issue brief released today and more information about GHI can be found at: http://www.globalharvestinitiative.org.

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About the Global Harvest Initiative:  The Global Harvest Initiative was established in 2009 as a partnership among Archer Daniels Midland Company, DuPont, John Deere, and Monsanto with the goal of addressing hunger and food insecurity by sustainably closing the global agricultural productivity gap.  For information about GHI membership, programs, and to access studies, reports and resources, visit:  http://www.globalharvestinitiative.org. Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Harvest2050 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GlobalHarvestInitiative