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Chicago Council praises administration food security effort

The State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Millenium Challenge Corporation all received “outstanding” evaluations in a Chicago Council on Global Affairs report on U.S. leadership in global agricultural development released last week, while the Agriculture Department and Congress received “good” grades.

The report was released by former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and former World Food Program Executive Director Catherine Bertini, who co-chair the council’s global agricultural development initiative.

“USDA has played a strong role in supporting U.S. leadership in agricultural development due almost exclusively to the outstanding leadership and personal commitment demonstrated by its secretary,” the report said.

It concluded that whether State and USAID will have sustained leadership in agricultural development is still unclear. The report also called on Congress and USDA to increase budgets for international education, training, and exchange programs and for changes to food aid programs that include a scaling back or elimination of monetization and an expansion of local and regional purchase of food aid.

Rajiv Shah, USAID

Rajiv Shah, USAID
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said in a news release that he was pleased to see Feed the Future, President Barack Obama’s global hunger and food security initiative, “commended” in the report.

“Our next major step is to deepen our work on food security. We expect that the G-8 will work together to build upon and strengthen the historic commitments on food security made at the 2009 L’Aquila Summit, and will encourage broader investment in agricultural development,” Shah added.