WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hunger and food insecurity are serious threats to many all over the world. Food insecurity is defined as a lack of access to affordable, nutritious and abundant food. It occurs in many families either due to a lack of money or lack of accessibility to crops at certain times of the year. The Global Food Security Act of 2016 was effective in fighting hunger and food insecurity, but many around the world still struggle with these issues. The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2018 will extend the efforts of the original act for another two years.
Why Global Food Security Matters
Across the world, one billion people suffer from food insecurity. Access not just to food, but to healthy, nutritious food is imperative to the development of our world. Food insecurity leads to hunger and disease among impoverished populations, resulting in higher fatality numbers. Therefore, U.S. assistance through the Global Food Security Act greatly benefits citizens of these countries; however, fighting world hunger also benefits Americans.
By fighting world hunger, the U.S. has a stake in what becomes of that nation. Namely, this means fighting terrorism without mobilizing troops. A report by the Rand Corporation concluded that social and economic development decreases loyalty to terrorist groups. In this way, the benefits of the act extend beyond helping the poor.
What the Bill Does
The original Global Food Security Act, introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), was passed in 2016. The act approved spending $1 billion each year to combat food insecurity. Under President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative, the act reduced hunger across the world by investing in the agricultural practices of developing nations.
Some methods used to fight hunger included increased attention on agricultural growth, increased farmer productivity and improved food quality for women and children specifically. This act can help provide healthy food to those in impoverished countries, spur sustainable economic growth in those countries and improve U.S. national security. The reauthorization of this act will extend it for another two years.
Who Supports the Bill
Senator Bob Casey spoke to The Borgen Project about the importance of the bill. “The need to address global hunger is an urgent national security priority. It is in the United States’ best interest to promote initiatives that work to eliminate the causes of food and nutrition insecurity. My colleagues in Congress should support reauthorization so that we can help the world’s most vulnerable and enhance American security by promoting stability in parts of the world experiencing chronic food insecurity.”
What Needs to Happen for This Bill to Pass
The Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2018 was recently passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, giving it a good chance of being passed in the House. It will move onto the Senate, and if it is passed there, President Trump can pass the bill or veto it (a veto can be overridden if two-thirds of representatives and senators support it). The best way to help pass this bill is by contacting congressional leaders via email, letter or phone call and urging them to support the bill.
Ending food insecurity and hunger is an achievable goal. Though it may take time to end these issues across the world, supporting the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act of 2018 is a great step towards ending this issue.
– Olivia Booth