It is also important for us to remember that back in 2000, as part of the Millennium Development Goals, nearly 200 nations, including the United States, pledged to cut the proportion of people suffering from hunger in half by 2015. The new food initiative announced by Secretary Clinton will help us do that. The Obama Administration is not merely talking about global food security, it is “walking the walk.”  In President Obama’s first budget request to Congress, he proposed to double funding for international agricultural development to over $1 billion. This is another key component to food security and an area that has been severely neglected for decades.

There is bipartisan and bicameral support for this.  Both the House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committee have included this critically needed funding in their FY 2010 funding bills.  With fiscal year 2010 merely a week away, the time is now to conference and pass the FY 2010 State, Foreign Operations Act so we can get this funding out to field.  There is no time to waste.  

Also, in the Senate, Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Lugar (R-Ind.), and Senator Casey (D-Penn.) have introduced S. 384, the Global Food Security Act that has already passed committee and is awaiting floor action.  We encourage Senate leadership to take up this bill.  In the House, Representative McCollum (D-Minn.) has introduced similar legislation (H.R. 3077) that awaits committee action. Representatives McGovern (D-Mass.) and Emerson (R-Mo.) have introduced H.R. 2817, the Roadmap to End Global Hunger Act.  We encourage the House Foreign Affairs Committee to take up food security legislation expeditiously. 

The time is now to show leadership on Capitol Hill and work together to end global hunger.