U.S. Withdrawal from Hunger Fund Undermines Global Efforts to Improve Food Security: ActionAid

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Trump administration today announced its intention to withdraw from an international fund set up to reduce global hunger. In a Statement to the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, David R. Malpass, Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, announced that the Trump administration would end funding for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) [1], whose projects support local farmers around the world.

Marie Clarke, Executive Director of ActionAid USA and a civil society representative to the GAFSP steering committee, said:

“Today, the Trump administration stepped away from yet another important international institution, one that’s supporting millions of farmers around the world to grow their way out of poverty.

“The GAFSP is one of the most efficient of the multi-stakeholder funds, with 93% of available GAFSP programs going into grants to the world’s poorest countries. This means the fund can reach the local farmers that produce the majority of the world’s food, but often struggle to provide enough food for their families.

 “The GAFSP was set up in response to the food crisis, when it was clear that investment in local agriculture in countries where food insecurity is highest was urgently needed to tackle global hunger. Many of its projects are located in Africa, where parts of Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan are currently battling famine.

 “By taking a swipe at a funding mechanism that’s helping to prevent future food crises, the administration is doubling down on its Africa policy of slashing aid and increasing military activity. Trump’s intentions are clear – he wants to end the program that supports local farmers, paving the way for his friends in corporate agriculture to clean up.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) is a multilateral mechanism to assist in the implementation of pledges made by the G20 in Pittsburgh in September 2009. The objective is to improve incomes and food and nutrition security in low-income countries by boosting agricultural productivity.

As of June 2017, GAFSP has reached 8.2 million people with country-led local agriculture projects. One third of all people reached by GAFSP projects are women and recipients have seen an average income growth of 22%.