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As part of a global response, the U.S. is responding, having already provided more than $600 million in assistance. More will be needed before the crisis ends. To ensure that future droughts don’t again devastate poor and vulnerable communities, we must support investments in small scale food producers, especially women, to increase agricultural productivity and build resilience.
With the right investments in women, as small scale producers, as caregivers, as leaders in their communities, we can provide them with the support they need to build resilience to extreme weather events and other shocks such as increases in food prices.
Unfortunately, some of my colleagues in Congress are fighting to cut even the most modest funding of vital programs that focus on global food security, health, climate adaptation, and disaster relief, that both assist people in pulling themselves out of poverty as well as helping people in times of crisis.
 
Cuts to these types of international programs, which make up less than 1% of the US federal budget, will not get us far in terms of plugging the budget gap but they could literally make the difference between life and death for many of the world’s poor.


By Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA). Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a forceful and progressive voice in Congress, dedicated to social and economic justice, international peace, and civil and human rights.