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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / M A R C H 2 0 1 2
status of women and children under 2 years of age in up to
25 districts. We are doing so by improving dietary quality
and diversity, offering greater access to health services and
promoting health-seeking behaviors.
As we work to enhance global food security and improve
nutrition, President Obama has also directed us to get bet-
ter results for every taxpayer dollar invested. Thus, we are
not only increasing overall investments in agriculture and
nutrition, but are focusing those funds more efficiently.
Bang for the Buck
Toward that end, a key component of Feed the Future
is targeted assistance. Rather than investing in everything
everywhere, we collaborate with partner countries and
other donors in specific regions that have the best chance
of flourishing. We also support the development of crops
— across the entire chain from farm to table — that have
the greatest potential to alleviate poverty and reduce un-
In Ghana, for example, we are putting 80 percent of
Feed the Future resources into the northern part of the
country, where analysis indicates productivity can be
most readily increased. For
the same reason, we are focus-
ing on four specific agricultural
products — rice, maize, soya
and fish — with the greatest
potential impact on the lives of
the poor.
Critical to achieving success
is a comprehensive approach
that focuses on how countries
can effectively increase their
own production, marketing and
nutrition programs, so they do
not have to rely on food aid in
the future. For this reason, we
are helping countries to de-
velop their own plans and in-
crease their funding— inmany
cases, more than doubling their
individual commitments to
We have significantly ad-
vanced country-owned plans
and used them as a basis to de-
velop multiyear strategies with
24 bilateral and regional U.S. government missions to align
U.S. investments in support of these plans. Feed the Fu-
ture strategies are country-owned and country-led because
we know that progress depends on inclusive leadership, the
commitment of political leaders, and the quality of systems
in developing countries. With a combination of good gov-
ernance and development investments, far-reaching, sus-
tainable outcomes are achievable.
We are also working with other donors and private-sec-
tor partners to leverage our dollars and ensure that all ac-
tors are aligned with country-led strategies. Working
together to support the same strategic goals, we can have an
impact at a scale that can transform food-insecure coun-
tries into dynamic economies that can generate more in-
come and feed their people.
A perfect example is Tanzania, where we’re partnering
with the World Bank and companies such as Yara, under
the leadership of the host government, to support devel-
opment of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of
Tanzania. Eighty percent of Feed the Future investments
in Tanzania are focused on the SAGCOT, which President
Jakaya Kikwete initiated. This public-private partnership
Paul Weisenfeld (center, blue cap) visits the Garissa Livestock Market in Kenya, a
Feed the Future focus country.