ROME, Oct. 16 - With volatile food prices, weather-related disasters and political instability around the globe, the struggle for food security continues to be an uphill battle for nearly one billion people. But the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) hopes to call attention to the challenges and potential solutions by observing World Food Day today.

The global event is observed on October 16 every year in recognition of the founding of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization in 1945. This year’s theme is “Food Prices – From Crisis to Stability.”

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the day provides an opportunity to remember the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization and re-commit ourselves to ending global hunger. 

“Food security is a foreign policy priority for the United States.  We must continue to find new and innovative ways to get food into the hands of more people,” she said in a statement.  

“Today in the horn of Africa, more than 13 million people are affected by a severe drought that has led to a food emergency and a refugee crisis, compounded by terrorist group al-Shabaab’s complete disregard for fellow Somali citizens by blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid.  This is the most severe humanitarian emergency in the world and it is critical that the international community continue to work to ensure families have access to adequate food and the resources to purchase it.

Clinton said long-term solutions to food security must be treated with the same sense of urgency as providing food aid to starving people.  Through the Feed the Future Initiative, which is led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. government is pledged $3.5 billion working with partner countries, civil society, the private sector, and other stakeholders to improve access and availability to nutritious food. 

Feed the Future, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), leverages the strengths of agencies across the U.S. Government, including the State Department, Peace Corps, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Treasury Department, U.S. Trade Representative, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. African Development Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Secretary Clinton delivered remarks to the participants in the 2011 African
Women’s Entrepreneurship Program, at the Department of State. Photo: State Dept.

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