For Immediate Release
The United States, building on the strong support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that President Obama reaffirmed at the ASEAN-United States Leaders Meeting earlier this month, is launching a new program to help strengthen the regional organization’s ability to ensure food security for its 600 million citizens.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will manage the three-year project, called Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade, or MARKET, through its Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) in Bangkok, Thailand.
The MARKET program was featured in a special fact sheet the White House released on November 20. It noted that “the United States, under President Obama’s global Feed the Future Initiative and through the ASEAN Secretariat, will support a program to promote the role of the private sector and public-private dialogue on food security policies and solutions.”
The President’s Feed the Future Initiative was created in response to the global food crisis of 2007-2008. Through this initiative, the United States is working with countries throughout the developing world, as well as with regional organizations, development partners, NGOs, and other stakeholders to tackle continuing international food security challenges.
President Obama and ASEAN agreed to strengthen cooperation on food security at an ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting in November, 2009. The new USAID program’s focus on the private sector follows on the first-ever formal dialogue between ASEAN agriculture ministers and agribusinesses, which took place last month. MARKET also aims to strengthen food-related trade efficiency and information technology systems within ASEAN member states.
“The MARKET program further highlights the commitment of the U.S. Government and ASEAN to work together on issues of agricultural trade efficiency and private sector engagement,” said RDMA Director Dr. Michael Yates. “The MARKET program is another example of how USAID is working to support the Feed the Future Initiative as well as ASEAN efforts to strengthen food security and reduce hunger throughout the region.”
The United States Agency for International Development has been the principal U.S. government agency extending foreign assistance since 1961. In Asia, USAID programs address many problems that cross national boundaries, such as human and wildlife trafficking, HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases, global climate change, natural resources conservation, food security, and trade. For more information, visit www.usaid.gov.
Last updated: February 24, 2015