February 8, 2018

Featured Commentary - Is Global Public Will Enough to End Hunger?

This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse
By Ertharin Cousin
Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.
Global public will alone will not end hunger. Increased donor support—while necessary to address immediate emergency food needs—will not create the food system improvements required for ending global hunger. Yes, even in 2016—after several years of decline—the number of hungry people worldwide rose to 815 million, increasing by nearly 38 million since 2015. Reducing this number and honoring the US pledge from the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending global hunger requires country led, pro-poor food system improvements. As more people migrate to cities, these pro-poor food policies must both include agriculture development strategies and ensure consumer access to affordable, nutritious food.
Attempting to impose requisite change from the global level ignores the leadership of governments and local actors striving to develop their own policies and programs. Effective change requires long-term, local government ownership of macro policy improvements; these improvements in turn drive benefits for everyone—particularly smallholder farmers and poor, non-farm working consumers.


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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