US Hikes Investments in Food Security, Nutrition

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah has announced additional funding to help feed more than 6 million people in flood-ravaged Pakistan.

A further USD75 million will be channeled through the World Food Program to help provide food aid to Pakistan’s flood victims. Of the amount, USD70 million will be spent to locally procure 120,000 tons of goods, while the remaining USD5 million will be used for U.S. food that is part of USAID’s prepositioning program.

“The ability to locally procure items is important in the initial recovery and rebuilding efforts in Pakistan,” Shah said.

WFP chief Josette Sheeran said hunger should be “on top of the global agenda.”

“We know what to do but we have to do it, and we have to do it vigorously… There’s nothing more basic than hunger,” Sheeran told the U.N. News Service at the sidelines of the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York this week.

A joint report released last week by WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that the number of chronically hungry people has decreased for the first time in 15 years, dropping from 1 billion to 925 million.

>> World Needs Additional USD75B Annually to Halve Hunger by 2015, Oxfam Says

Sheeran noted that this improvement must be treated cautiously, saying “[i]t is a projection for this year and of course we have recently seen epic-level flooding in Pakistan which was not factored into the projections.”

Meanwhile, USAID and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition announced USD1 million in investments to expand efforts to reduce malnutrition.

“These investments will help vulnerable families improve the health of their children by giving them access to diversified, quality diets and empowering them to make better informed decisions in areas like water, sanitation, and hygiene,” Shah said.

GAIN will also take part in an event hosted by U.S. and Ireland on child malnutrition at the sidelines of the MDG summit.

Devex News – live breaking news coverage of the Millennium Development Goals and the Sept. 20-22 U.N. MDG summit in New York.  

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.