by Linda St.Cyr, Contributing Writer
Over the next 3 years, the U.S. will spend $3.5 billion dollars to help developing countries boost food sufficiency. The money will go to providing food sustainability in food-deficient countries with research, technology, farm supplies and access to new trade markets.

U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary, James Miller, said of the global food aid plan, This is a wide-ranging effort involving multiple U.S. government departments… It looks at long-term mechanisms for resolving food needs, improving living standards and farm incomes.”The departments Miller refers to include the USDA, the U.S. Agency for International Development and non-government agencies in the countries targeted by the plan.

“Feed the Future”, the food security assistance program, will target countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.
President of the United States, BarackObama, said of the programs goals, "...the United States is leading an effort to reach out to people around the world who are suffering, to provide them immediate assistance and to extend support for food security that will help them lift themselves out of poverty. All of us must join together in this effort, not just because it is right, but because by providing assistance to those countries most in need, we will provide new markets, we will drive the growth of the future that lifts all of us up."

Other countries have joined in the fight against hunger by pledging $18.5 billion dollars in support at the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy in 2009.
You can see the U.S. plans for implementation of “Feed the Future” FY 2010 in the working documents on the “Feed the Future” official website. Implementation plans are available for East Africa, Ethiopia, Mali, Ghana, Nepal, Guatemala, Nicaragua and many other countries who will be included in the plan for global food security.

Visit Feed the Future for more information and the ways you can get involved in helping the fight against worldwide hunger.

“The question is not whether we can end h
unger, it's whether we will."- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

by Michael Thompson, Contributing Writer

As we strive for action plans to combat global poverty, I have always found myself in lament of a special wish. I wish “million” did not rhyme with “billion” which rhymes with “trillion.” They sound so much alike, but they are such different numbers. A billion dollars is 1 million dollars, repeated 1,000 times. A billionaire is somebody, or some entity like our government, who therefore owns the resources of 1,000 millionaires. A trillion is 1 million dollars, 1 million times. And to think of how we shop with cents-off coupons, while we sort of idolize the ignorant excesses of our celebrities, the so-called rich and famous ................

To me, our resources are so totally wrongly directed. I want to go batty each time I visit the web site I invite you to go look, the site will show you the costs of the Middle East war campaigns in our new millennium.The tragedy is all spelled out.

The United States Congress has NOW authorized $47 billion to continue the warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, I have supported President Obama and maybe he knows something I don’t know, but there are 70 Democrats within the past year who have changed their minds. I probably should not even be citing dollar amounts, considering the overriding question of carnage, with so much killing and so many amputees and crippled children.. I believe President Obama may be making a measured judgment in perceiving that this horrible carnage is a necessary evil in preventing the more horrendous carnage that terrorists would inflict. He seems to be a good man, not just a good man but an outstanding leader who wants to serve for the common good. But when I think of the horror of warfare and violence, and when I take note that the United Nations estimates that a $30 billion annual investment could resolve global hunger, I have to give pause. Hunger truly is a form of violence, and to address global poverty we must address hunger first.

I only wish President Kennedy a half century ago would have decided that we don’t need to go to the moon, that we need to deal with global povetry and alternative energy, and the we needed to get out of Viet Nam.


by Michael Thompson, Contributing Writer
Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain
Wal-Mart stores have been selling red-white-and-blue T-shirts that were especially popular prior to the Fourth of July. They display a map of the U.S.A., awkwardly patterned with the Stars & Stripes obliterating the Pacific Northwest. They are a real bargain at only $2, although they give an appearance that the map and the flag may fade quite quickly when washed, after all, the name of the manufacturer is “Faded Glory.” Is that a metaphor for how these sweat-shop cheap imports are contributing to global poverty? The shirts are made in Guatemala, by workers who earn an average of 53 cents an hour.

According to the organization Globalization and the Poor, average Third World hourly wages for apparel workers are 13 cents in Bangladesh, 26 cents in Vietnam, 34 cents in Indonesia, 44 cents in China, 49 cents in Haiti, and 75 cents in Nicaragua. This makes average pay in places like El Salvador ($1.38) and the Dominican Republic ($1.62) seem downright lucrative.

Some globalization apologists argue that U.S. companies actually are paying more than domestic manufacturers in the Third World, and that if the Americans were to pull out, global poverty would become even more severe.

There’s a solution, according the group Global Watch – an international minimum wage. All sorts of trade agreements are governed under the World Trade Organization. Why not this?

And the next time you see an item or a product that displays a U.S. flag, check the label!


by Linda St. Cyr, Contributing Writer
Photo: Wikimedia Commons; Public Domain
10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year.”(Source: The State of the World's Children, UNICEF, 2007)

This is just one of the many frightening statistics about hunger. If the first statistic doesn’t frighten you, perhaps, this one will...

“1.02 billion people do not have enough to eat - more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union.”(Source:FAO news release, 19 June 2009)

Hunger is a global concern. Men, women and children in underdeveloped and developing countries are dying of starvation, malnutrition and diseases related to a lack of nutrition and clean drinking water.

There are ways to help. The Hunger Site is dedicated to helping feed the hungry. Just by visiting the website and clicking a few buttons you can be assured that you are giving aid to those who are hungry. One click equals one cup of food. That one cup of food might be the only breakfast a mother, a father or a child has seen in days.

Another way to help is by visiting The World Food Programme. If you are a writer, you can join the program called Bloggers Against Hunger to help spread awareness about hunger concerns facing the world today. Or you can donate food by playing games online. One game is called Free Rice. For every correct answer 10 grains of rice are added to a bowl. The rice total is then donated through the World Food Programme and distributed to those who are hungry. Free Rice has provided food to Myanmar refugees, schools in Cambodia, pregnant women in Cambodia and many other places around the globe.

Hunger is a global concern. Are you concerned enough to do something about it?