Statement by USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah on the Occasion of the World Food Program USA's 10th Annual George McGovern Leadership Awards

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 24, 2011
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Rick Leach, president and CEO, World Food Program USA, in honoring the contributions made by Howard G. Buffett and Bill Gates in reducing global hunger on Monday, October 24, 2011 at the Department of State. He released the following statement:

"It is fitting that Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates receive the George McGovern Leadership Award as we commemorate their tremendous contributions to alleviating extreme poverty and chronic hunger around the world. Their leadership is both exemplary and inspiring, and reminds us that each individual can truly make a difference in fighting hunger.

At the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we are leading Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative. Through smart, targeted investments, we are working with partner countries and the private sector to advance broad-based economic growth that increases incomes, reduces hunger, and supports better nutrition outcomes.

By leveraging private sector resources, we can maximize our reach and effectiveness, and strengthen the long term sustainability of local systems.

One example of how we are doing this is through the World Food Program's Purchase for Progress (P4P) initiative, which helps smallholder farmers gain access to markets and builds local capacity, a primary goal of Feed the Future. Today, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with P4P to partner with local private financial institutions in select African countries. The goal is to enter into a series of five-year Development Credit Authority guarantees designed to increase access to finance for P4P suppliers. This is in addition to existing USAID commitments to P4P that are geared directly toward increasing the incomes of smallholder farmers.

It is poignant that the World Food Program is celebrating its 50th anniversary as USAID also celebrates its 50th year. We are both motivated by the belief that everyone-especially children-should have access to nutritious, affordable foods. As the Horn of Africa faces the worst drought in 60 years, our leadership and collective efforts are more critical than ever. Today, as we recognize the remarkable achievements of Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates, we are reminded that our work together to address both immediate and long-term food security needs is key to feeding the future."

Last updated: May 21, 2012

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