Skip to Content

Doing Business Differently: Fighting Global Hunger Through a Whole-of-Government Approach

By Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future & Jonathan Shrier

In Haiti, farmers are increasing their incomes and conserving the environment by improving their production of plantains…

In Guatemala, smallholder farmers—many of them women—are benefiting from increased access to loans, markets, training, and technology to advance food security and economic opportunity…

In Senegal, a group of farmers are learning agricultural techniques that they can share with thousands of other community farmers to boost overall production and better feed their own families… 

In Uganda, the devastating effects of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are being addressed through a new policy initiative to increase the nutritional value of common food products…

Ghanaian farmers are improving grain storage practices, helping to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure fresh goods can be sold at market…

…And rural agriculture workers in Bangladesh are accessing research that helps them diagnose and control plant pests and diseases that devastate crops. And through more efficient use of fertilizer, farmers in the country’s poorest state are seeing the first-ever surplus of rice.

These changes are taking place in different countries and sectors, but they’re all contributing to the same remarkable goal: They’re helping lift communities out of hunger and poverty. And all are supported through a range of different U.S. Government organizations under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

Nine U.S. agencies have come together to contribute their unique experience, expertise, and resources to support Feed the Future. Together – and with the help of our development partners from universities, the research community, multilaterals, the private sector, and the NGO community – we are working to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity that has led millions in the developing world to lives of chronic hunger and undernutrition. 

Led by USAID, Feed the Future leverages the strengths of agencies across the U.S. Government:

We’re also working with other U.S. Government agencies like the Department of Commerce, partnering with its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support activities involving forecasting and fisheries. And we’re excited about additional partnership opportunities in the future that will continue to maximize our collective impact and results. For example, the Peace Corps is preparing its volunteers in various sectors—environment, agriculture, health, and community economic development—in food security practices to build grassroots capacity in vulnerable communities to help them meet their food security needs.

If this all seems like a lot to synchronize, it is! But interagency coordination is a cornerstone of Feed the Future and something we’re dedicated to making work. By leveraging all of these resources, we can maximize the impact we have on people’s lives: Feed the Future aims to assist 18 million people—mostly smallholder farmers—to escape hunger and poverty, and to reach seven million children with nutrition improvements so they have better opportunities for a bright future.

Collaborating toward shared objectives, using common indicators to track our progress toward food security goals, and promoting long-term, broad-based economic growth in some of the world’s most food-insecure countries will yield outstanding and, most importantly, lasting results.

A recent report from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a leading international affairs organization, gave Feed the Future high marks for achievements to date. The report tells us our approach is working. Three years in, we’re seeing real results. But what the report also tells us is that undertaking a challenge as big as ending global hunger requires a longer-term commitment.

We remain dedicated to collaborating with our various partners and stakeholders to create a world where droughts don’t lead to famine, where children have adequate food and nutrition to reach their full potential, and where chronic food insecurity is a thing of the past. Working together, we can make that world our reality.  

Related Stories