Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

How Can We Get There Without a Map?

7.24.12 blog.Roadmap
Photo by Anne Poulsen/ World Food Programme

Did you ever try to get to a far-off destination without a map?  It’s not easy.

Today, Bread for the World will join a coalition of 50 faith-based, humanitarian, and advocacy groups to present A Roadmap for Continued U.S. Leadership to End Global Hunger. At a Capitol Hill event later this afternoon, members of Congress, policymakers, and NGO leaders will officially unfold the Roadmap, charting a course for a hunger-free world through smart investments.

The document reviews progress over the last three years towards the goals set out in the original Roadmap and offers recommendations to ensure continued effectiveness of U.S. global food security programs.

The Original Roadmap

In the wake of the global food price crisis of 2008, a broad-based coalition of non-governmental organizations, advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations developed a document titled the Roadmap to End Global Hunger, which was endorsed by over 40 organizations and became the basis for legislation introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2817).  The Roadmap presented a vision for a comprehensive and integrated U.S. strategy to increase global food security, including suggested levels of financial support for emergency, safety net, nutrition and agricultural development programs over five years. 

Hunger remains one of the world's most pressing challenges, with almost a billion people—or one in seven worldwide—suffering chronic hunger.  In addition, each year up to 100 million more may face acute hunger brought on by natural disasters and conflicts.  Women and children are disproportionately affected by hunger and malnutrition.  With population growth placing a strain on a limited natural resource base, and changing weather patterns creating more droughts and floods, feeding the world of the future presents a serious challenge.


The Updated Roadmap

This year, a group of 11 organizations that work to end global poverty and hunger—including Bread for the World—worked together over a period of months to assess the progress of the original Roadmap and make recommendations for legislative actions and policy changes necessary to meet current and future global challenges.  We based our recommendations on the following guiding principles:

  • Addressing hunger and malnutrition is the right thing to do.
    For decades, the United States has been the moral leader around the globe in responding to humanitarian crises and development needs in order to make a difference in the lives of our world’s most vulnerable people.  These investments generate significant good will.
  • Addressing hunger and malnutrition is a smart investment.
    Investments in nutrition programs can bring returns on investment as high as 39 to one.  By contrast, malnutrition costs individuals up to 10 percent of lifetime earnings and may cost countries up to 11 percent of their gross domestic product in lost productivity. Reducing hunger and increasing the economic well-being of people outside the United States—where 95 percent of consumers live—helps to create more prosperous and stable markets for U.S. goods and services.
  • Addressing hunger and malnutrition is critical to national and global security.
    In the wake of the food price spikes in 2008 and 2009, riots broke out in almost 40 countries all over the world. Volatile food prices and compromised access to food have led to social unrest, particularly in global security hotspots such as the Middle East and North Africa. It is critical to both our national and global security that the international community help developing countries better manage destabilizing events like volatile food prices and natural disasters.
  • The American people support smart investments in alleviating hunger and malnutrition.
    Public opinion polls show consistent support from the vast majority of people in the United States for programs to end hunger and assist poor people around the world in their efforts to reach self-sufficiency.

Many thanks to Bread for the World’s partners who worked so hard in drafting the Roadmap for Continued US Leadership to End Global Hunger .  Those of us working to end global hunger will continue to push for timely, effective, sustainable policies and programs.  We can’t do it without your help.

Scott BleggiScott Bleggi is senior international policy analyst at Bread for the World Institute.







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