Last July, Republicans and Democrats in Congress took a historical step toward ending global hunger — together.
Dust off your party horn. Congress actually agreed on something!
In a year not known for words like "bipartisan" and "support" sitting together in the same sentence, the two parties joined forces in passing the Global Food Security Act. You bet President Barack Obama signed it into law as soon as he could.
It was a hopeful political moment that went largely unnoticed, with the 2016 election race sucking up everyone's energy. (And, let's be real, whatever brain power we had left went to binge-watching Netflix's "Stranger Things.")
But now the real work begins.
It's up to President Donald Trump to actually see the Global Food Security Act through.
This law, if fully implemented, will reduce hunger, malnutrition, and poverty around the world, saving countless lives and saving us money by increasing global productivity.
It will add crucial oversight to existing U.S. spending, ensuring the most effective use of our taxpayer dollars. It will improve upon the programs we already have in place, like Obama's Feed the Future initiative. It will also help communities be more resilient when facing droughts and floods caused by climate change. And female and smallholder farmers really stand to benefit — a group responsible for producing up to 80% of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. With investments in their resources and growth, they will be able to boost their incomes, productivity, and, ultimately, their livelihoods.
This is the first time in our history that the U.S. government — the largest provider of international aid — has actually passed a comprehensive strategy like this. It's big!
It took nearly a decade to get to where we are, thanks to numerous nonprofit groups, politicians, private-sector partners, researchers, universities, and farmers all working together. It'd be more than a shame to see it fall through; it'd be morally irresponsible and even a security threat.
With all his talk on national and global security, Trump would be wise to show support for the Global Food Security Act.
Conflict is a leading cause of hunger, and hunger contributes to violence. It's a vicious cycle, with global conflicts now pushing over 56 million people into either "crisis" or "emergency" levels of food insecurity around the world, according to a joint report from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme.
"Addressing hunger can be a meaningful contribution to peacebuilding," the report emphasized.
Bottom line: The world sees more peace and security when fewer people go to bed hungry at night. And peace and security are the foundation for any developing country's ability to progress.
The Global Food Security Act shows the United States' commitment to ensuring farmers and families can break away from hunger for good.
Let's make sure President Trump makes the Global Food Security Act a priority, moving both our country and the world forward. Sign the petition here.