USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa on the 2020 World Food Prize

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Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 11, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 Email:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) congratulates this year's winner of the World Food Prize, Rattan Lal, Ph.D., whose research in the management of soil resources has helped feed a growing and hungry world sustainably.

The global demand for food is growing faster than the world's population. Agriculture and food systems face the challenge of producing more while using less land and water. Dr. Lal's work has advanced our ability to grow more food while minimizing the environmental impact for agriculture-essential for sustainable solutions to end hunger and malnutrition.

At USAID, we know that agriculture and food security are key to economic transformation and self-reliance in countries around the world. We also know that partnership, especially with academia and the private sector, makes such progress possible. As the leader of the U.S. Government's Feed the Future initiative, USAID draws upon innovative scientists like Dr. Lal and links them with the talents and resources of the U.S. Government, partner governments from around the world, global organizations, and leading American businesses and non-profits.

Thanks to food-security champions like Dr. Lal and the collaborative work USAID has done over the last decade through Feed the Future, we have a solid foundation in place today from which to respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As governments around the world take steps to stop the spread of the virus, lockdowns and travel restrictions are disrupting supply-chains and the movement of goods and people, which can create economic uncertainty. While food-insecurity and malnutrition are secondary impacts of COVID-19, they are a primary concern for USAID. We are acting now to stop a health crisis from turning into a food crisis by ensuring our vital programs continue, and adapting Feed the Future's investments and partnerships to mitigate the pandemic's impact on food systems, resilience, and nutrition.

The United States remains committed to food security and nutrition, and we will continue to work with leaders like Dr. Lal to find innovative ways to end global hunger.

Last updated: July 26, 2021

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