NCBA CLUSA Positioned to Play Important Role in Delivering on the G-8’s New Food Security and Nutrition Alliance
Remarking to a room of global agricultural and food security leaders at the May 18 Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, President Barack Obama reiterated U.S. commitment to combating global hunger and poverty. “As the wealthiest nation on Earth, I believe the United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and to partner with others.”
On the eve of the G-8 Summit in Camp David, Maryland, President Obama announced on May 18, 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The New Alliance calls on donor countries, the international community, and the private sector to more closely align agricultural and food security assistance with country-led development plans. A big part of the announcement was focused on the $3 billion in pledged investments from over 45 private sector companies, including “major international corporations to African companies and cooperatives.”
The Camp David Declaration by G-8 Leaders confirmed that the Alliance is intended to “accelerate the flow of private capital to African agriculture, take to scale new technologies and other innovations…and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities.”
As a lead implementer of the U.S.’ signature program, Feed the Future, NCBA CLUSA shares the G-8 leaders’ stated commitment to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. In Senegal, for example, NCBA CLUSA is managing a five-year, $40 million program called USAID|Yaajeende (which means “prosperity”) to combat food insecurity and malnutrition.
The program employs an innovative, country-led and integrated approach to tackling the underlying issues that hold back the very poor from becoming integral and active members of the rural, agricultural marketplace. NCBA CLUSA’s efforts, in partnership with USAID, local producers and producer associations, the private sector, and other NGO and civil society partners, accelerates participation of the very poor in rural economic growth, catalyzes sustainable development with Senegal’s agriculture sector, and improves the key dimensions of food security – access, availability, utilization, and stability.
Cooperative development and community-based leadership are key components of the sustainable solutions being carried out under the program which helps smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women, work together and link to markets for their mutual benefit. Integrating nutrition into the agricultural development and food security efforts is also a key and innovative strategy that will lead to healthier children, families, and communities.
President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Bono, African leaders, and the private sector speakers at the symposium reiterated again and again the importance of smallholder farmers, the inclusion of women, the integration of nutrition, and the role of the private sector from the farmers to the multinationals.
“NCBA CLUSA believes in this multi-sectoral approach to benefitting the poorest farmers as key players in the value chain,” said Amy Coughenour Betancourt, NCBA CLUSA’s Vice President. “Training farmers as business people and advocating for market approaches rather than handouts is the CLUSA way,” she said.
NCBA CLUSA’s theme of self-reliance was echoed by President Obama: “We want to have emergency aid become less and less relevant,” he stated. With Africa’s vast amount of uncultivated arable land, rich natural and human resources, Obama stated “there is no reason Africa shouldn’t be feeding itself.”
NCBA CLUSA is a globally recognized leader in organizing people to help themselves. Working together with our partners at the grassroots level, NCBA CLUSA’s projects across the globe are fighting to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations. We facilitate cooperation and sustainable development in four sectors: food security and agriculture, democracy and governance, natural resource management, and community-based health. Currently NCBA CLUSA manages more than 20 projects in Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ethiopia, Malawi, Haiti, Mongolia, Indonesia, East Timor and El Salvador.