Providing international leadership to alleviate global hunger requires our Government to have strong policies in two separate areas:
- Responding to short-term food emergencies, such as the international food price spike we saw in 2008, which temporarily put up to 100 million more people at risk.
- Attacking the persistent poverty that keeps more than 850 million people hungry even when international food prices are low.
In the first of these areas, the United States Government has done a good job, at least a B+. But in the second area the U.S. has done a poor job over the past 25 years, something close to an F. In 2009 America has a chance to correct this second failing grade by directing more development assistance support to help small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Until the productivity of these small farmers goes up, poverty and hunger will not go down.