The Whole of Government Global Food Security Strategy 2022-2026

Sadik Shaikh
12 Min Read

Global hunger and malnutrition can be addressed sustainably with agricultural productivity growth, increased resilience of people and systems, inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic development; all goals that form the cornerstone of the GFSS 2022-2026.

Bread members were actively involved in passing and revoking the Global Food Security Alliance Strategy in 2016 and 2018. This comparative analysis highlights six improved areas in its reauthorized form.

Agricultural Research

The Global Food Security Strategy (GFS) is an all-of-government document intended to combat hunger and malnutrition through three goals: inclusive and sustainable agricultural-led economic growth; strengthening resilience across people, communities, countries, and systems; and providing well-nourished people (particularly women and children). Bread has long emphasized how investing in agricultural research and development is the most efficient means of swiftly alleviating poverty and hunger worldwide.

Research is at the core of all these goals, especially as we tackle climate change challenges in agriculture and create climate-smart and nutrition-friendly solutions. For example, USDA and USAID researchers led a global effort that helped stop widespread failure of wheat harvests due to wheat stem rust; researchers also worked alongside farmers on producing drought-tolerant maize for millions of families across Africa so that they have affordable and nutritious food year round.

As a nation, the United States stands in an unparalleled position to lead in agricultural research and innovation thanks to our world-class universities–including minority-serving institutions–and international and national research centers. Their strength in biological, physical, and social sciences can help address global issues while building resilient futures at home and abroad.

Do you ever consider how one mango from across the globe reaches your supermarket shelf? Think about the life of the smallholder farmer responsible. Global food security relies heavily on farmers, and so it is essential that we support and equip them with all of the tools and resources they need to flourish. USAID can capitalize on its leadership position in digital agriculture to establish a global pipeline from tested innovation to scaled impact, by initiating a Digital Agriculture for Food Security Challenge, creating an Innovation Fund and organizing a Summit. These steps will facilitate the emergence of innovative, user-designed digital technologies that empower smallholder farmers to more equitably secure their food production and livelihoods. As a result, these innovations may transform global agriculture economy while giving more people access to nutritious, affordable, safe food sources.

Climate Change

Food security worldwide has long been threatened, with this crisis underscoring its severity. Research and development investments must continue, while more resilient food systems need to be constructed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Middle Eastern conflict and supply chain disruptions aggravating an already sharp rise in global food prices that has affected some of the most vulnerable populations on earth – today 828 million people go to sleep hungry each night.

Investment in agricultural research and development has proven to be one of the most effective means of combatting poverty, hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Research resulting from such investments can produce crops with greater genetic resilience, advance vaccines for livestock animals and reduce invasive pest populations – while simultaneously addressing root causes that have led to food price spikes.

As part of its effort to combat global hunger and malnutrition, the United States Government has made resilience a central tenet of Feed the Future. In particular, its 2022-2026 Global Feed the Future Strategic Sustainability Strategy builds upon this tenet by elevating resilience within its strategic objectives. More specifically, sustainable agricultural productivity growth serves as one means of reaching three interrelated objectives: economic growth; nutrition; and improved resilience of people and communities.

To create a more resilient food system, the strategy emphasizes natural resource management – including land and water. An essential step toward this goal was announced in October 2022: the research strategy focused on developing innovations to increase crop and water-use efficiency while maintaining soil health – two components critical for an adaptive food system.

Bread members and the American public are invited to attend workshops hosted by USDA, USAID, and other federal agencies to share ideas about the future of reauthorized GFSS. These events will take place over the course of several weeks and offer participants a chance to brainstorm how these activities might support a multisectoral approach to combatting global hunger and malnutrition. In order for its strategic objectives to be met effectively, this effort requires taking an integrated whole-of-government approach which draws from each agency’s special expertise and capabilities in order to achieve its strategic objectives.

Nutrition

Most Americans rarely consider the smallholder farmers who produce the mango they purchase from their grocery store’s produce aisle. Yet these smallholder farmers are an essential link in our global food supply chain, and play an essential role in national security – contributing their economic, social, and political stability to maintaining health within our nation and contributing to national security as a result of food insecurity – something evidenced by 2007-2008 food price crisis events around the globe and other incidents worldwide.

The U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy 2022-2026 responds to our current global context with an integrated, multi-disciplinary strategy for combatting hunger, malnutrition and poverty. It considers cutting edge science alongside insights from community partners like Feed the Future as it plots its course toward creating a more secure global food supply.

As required by the bipartisan Global Food Security Act of 2016, USAID’s flagship initiative Feed the Future (FTF) continues to help provide families living in some of the world’s poorest nations with opportunities to break free from poverty and provide for themselves and their own children. FTF supports local efforts that address root causes of hunger and malnutrition by using innovative approaches in agriculture, nutrition and development.

FTF is taking on these challenges head-on by investing in innovative and promising solutions, like climate change-related threats to agricultural productivity and building more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive food systems that can withstand shocks such as weather volatility, conflict or spikes in input costs or transportation disruptions. Working closely with its partners, FTF is working towards these ends through innovation and investment in promising solutions – from climate change-induced crop yield loss mitigation measures with partners to increasing resilience through investments that create resilient systems better equipped to withstand shocks such as weather volatility or conflict as well as by investing in investments that build resilience through investments that create resilient resilient sustainable food systems that are better capable of withstanding shocks like these systems are better equipped than their counterparts that require protection from shocks like these shocks can withstand shocks like weather volatility, conflict as well as sudden increases in input costs or transportation disruptions with its robust systems providing resilience against such shocks than before – giving its partners much-needed support when it comes to climate change-related threats to agricultural productivity as well as developing more resilient sustainable food systems that better resist shocks like weather volatility, conflict spikes in input costs or transportation disruptions than before – being prepared against shocks like weather volatility or conflict and transportation disruptions able to withstand shocks than ever before in future!

USAID’s updated Global Food Security Strategy identifies five areas of emphasis and action to allow it to effectively adapt to an ever-evolving global landscape, including: (1) Integrating gender and nutrition as core elements of all programming; (2) Building and deploying technologies that support using data in decision making processes; (3) Assessing long-term impacts from COVID-19 regulations, and (4) investing in and scaling up solutions across agricultural value chains for food system improvements.

Inclusive Growth

Agriculture investment can be one of the most effective means of combatting poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Research advances vaccines for livestock and crops; helps farmers manage pests and diseases more effectively; enhances soil health and water efficiency; creates innovative new products and technologies to make food healthier for consumers; as well as many other benefits. All of these efforts support food security both globally as well as for American farmers and ranchers who enjoy improved production rates with increased prices for their products.

Global poverty and food insecurity are complex problems that demand multifaceted approaches that target their root causes while also preventing their recurrence. That is why Bread supports Feed the Future’s approach to ending global hunger through humanitarian relief and development efforts – something Bread strongly endorses.

This updated strategy remains true to the core tenets of Feed the Future’s original model while responding firmly to today’s challenges. It prioritizes collaboration with local partners to overcome inclusion-related hurdles, taking account of climate change’s effects on food security, and building resilience as part of strategic objectives alongside agriculture-led growth and improved nutrition.

The United States is committed to ensuring all people have access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food regardless of where they live or what challenges they face. As one of the world’s major producers of food, we must continue leading by example and through Feed the Future we give Americans an opportunity to contribute towards creating a healthier and more stable world by helping families and communities in some of the poorest countries out of poverty and food insecurity and build their futures themselves.

The initial Global Food Security Strategy was mandated by the bipartisan Global Food Security Act of 2016. It provided a blueprint to effectively implement international commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, and ensure the success of Feed the Future initiative. It demonstrated progress on ending hunger; its updated version, launched in 2022, builds upon this success to sustainably reduce global poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

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