East Africa Regional Partnerships for Food Security

Speeches Shim

East Africa’s economies are among the fastest-growing in the world, with technological change sweeping across the region and offering tremendous opportunities in agriculture, financial services, medicine, the manufacturing of textiles and apparel, and trade. Labor and capital are moving faster and more easily across borders. East African businesses are better able to access regional and global markets. Opportunities abound, but the stability and prosperity of the region will depend on continued regional economic integration supported by USAID and led by East African regional institutions.

Food insecurity remains a significant barrier to greater regional security, growth and prosperity. Over 27 million people in the greater region are food insecure and require humanitarian assistance, a 39 percent increase in food insecurity over 2016.11 The World Bank estimates that East Africa grows enough food to feed itself, but increased regional economic integration is necessary to enable staple foods to move from surplus to deficit areas to improve food security, especially during times of great stress such as drought.

Through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, USAID is helping to reduce chronic food insecurity by strengthening markets and lowering barriers to trade in East Africa, which has increased access to affordable, nutritious food. Regional Feed the Future activities focus on expanding access to staple foods – crops and animal products produced by millions of smallholder farmers – that form the basic diet for most East Africans. USAID is increasing farm productivity for staple foods through improved agricultural inputs and improving access to markets by reducing trade barriers and enacting regional policies and standards for staple foods. Additionally, USAID’s regional partnerships and programs are building resilience, to enable communities to withstand and bounce back from shocks such as droughts that threaten their well-being and food security.

Issuing Country 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 9:30am

Last updated: October 27, 2017