Ending global hunger: Preparing for a career in food security

An Auburn University student holds a sign during a protest against global hunger in March 2010. In partnership with the World Food Program, the university has launched a consortium of higher education institutions dedicated to advancing academe’s influence in eradicating world hunger. Photo by: Auburn War on Hunger

Food security is one of the fastest growing areas in foreign assistance, and academic studies, from soil science to business, often serve as a foundation for launching careers in the sector.

Since commodity prices spiked and set off riots across the globe in 2008, donors have pledged billions of dollars to understand and address the causes of hunger. The 2009 G-8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, focused on food security, and rich nations pledged USD22 billion to fight malnutrition and poverty. On April 22, 2010, the World Bank and several other donors launched a new food security trust fund, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, to help those countries meet their commitments. Seven months later, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched its Bureau of Food Security to support the Obama administration’s Feed the Future initiative, which the agency will also be overseeing as stated in the recently released Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

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Increasing the involvement of research institutions has been a common thread in donor-led strategies to create a food-secure world. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others have, for instance, been increasing their investment in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, which runs 15 centers around the globe to do research on food security and has contributed millions of dollars to support African graduate students. In the U.S., lawmakers have proposed the creation of a higher education collaboration for technology, agriculture, research and extension under the Global Food Security Act of 2009 to promote agricultural science in developing nations.

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About the author

  • Joshmillerbyline

    Josh Miller

    Josh joined Devex's Washington office in early 2010 as an international development correspondent covering U.S. aid reform, the DC development scene and Latin America. He previously served as a marketing communications coordinator for TechnoServe, a news production specialist for the Associated Press and a news desk assistant for the PBS NewsHour. He has reported for publications in Caracas, Chicago, Madrid, New Delhi, Philadelphia and Washington, and holds a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.