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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is proud to be part of the movement toward a long-term solution for global food security, as embodied in the Global Food Security Act of 2018 signed into law yesterday by President Donald Trump. The new legislation is a significant victory for U.S. leadership in worldwide efforts to advance global nutrition and alleviate poverty through agricultural development.

The act reaffirms the United States’ commitment to food security, but most importantly increases the authorization for these inclusive agricultural development programs for an additional five years. A triumph for bipartisanship, it passed without objection in the Senate and unanimously in the House. se programs direct the use of U.S. foreign assistance to bolster smallholder farmers, agriculture sectors, supply chains, maternal and child nutrition, community resilience and civil society engagement in developing countries.

“This overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation has given the Trump Administration an opportunity to add their stamp of leadership to global food security, and to highlight that international agricultural development is, in fact, consistent with a broad range of political philosophies.” said former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, a distinguished fellow for food and agriculture at the Council.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has recommended for over a decade that the U.S. commit to a long-term global food security strategy as a crucial component of its foreign policy. In that time, the Council has used expert task forces to conduct independent research and publish comprehensive reports on the leading edge of food security, connecting domestic priorities to the urgent need in low-income countries. The Council’s 2009 report on global hunger and poverty offered a framework for U.S. leadership that ultimately informed a decade of flourishing bipartisan support and global progress on food and nutrition security global food security programs in U.S. history, including the Feed the Future initiative.

On March 22, the Council released its most recent report “Youth for Growth,” detailing how youth employment in agriculture is vital for future global food security and stability. A compendium of the Council's research in global food and agriculture can be found here.

“Working to end global hunger is not just a matter of moral or humanitarian importance to Americans. Our task forces find that these efforts also have a significant positive impact on U.S. national security, while also creating economic opportunity for America's domestic producers and, of course, for the smallholder farmers at the core of this legislation.” said Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the World Food Programme and a distinguished fellow at the Council.

While the Council commends the five-year authorization, a permanent authorization would provide the best solution. This legislation is an important milestone, and the Council will continue lead in recommending ways to implement innovative solutions to global food security challenges.

For more, follow the Council’s global food and agriculture work.