July 25, 2013

CWS Supports New Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Foreign Aid

Humanitarian Aid: Not for Sale
Photo: Matt Hackworth/CWS

Washington - Today bipartisan legislation was introduced to expand the United States’ commitment to improving nutrition, increasing food security and ensuring that small-scale and women farmers have access to the tools and resources needed to feed their families. CWS supports the Global Food Security Act (H.R. 2822) and believes this is an important step in reforming U.S. foreign aid to be more efficient in creating a world where there is enough for all.

“CWS knows first-hand that women and small-scale farmers are on the frontlines of the fight against hunger,” said the Rev. John McCullough, President and CEO of CWS. “In order to give children and families access to the nutrition they need to thrive, we must first make sure they have the tools they need to make that possible. The Global Food Security Act is strong legislation that can do just that. We commend Representatives McCollum and Schock for their leadership.”

“Roughly 870 million people around the world suffer from chronic food insecurity. This is wrong, and it makes the United States less secure,” said Representative McCollum (D-Minn.) who, together with Representative Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), introduced the bill. “This bill fights food insecurity by working with the world’s most vulnerable people to enable them to produce their own food and improve their families’ livelihoods.”

CWS particularly highlights the plan’s focus on proper childhood nutrition within the first 1,000 days of life. “An investment in adequate nutrition pays off exceedingly well in preventing long-term developmental issues and ensuring children can live up to their full potential,” McCullough said.

The Global Food Security Act would direct the President to create a multi-agency strategy for global food and nutrition, an approach for which CWS has long advocated. In addition, it would create a new U.S. Special Coordinator for Food, Nutrition and Agricultural Development. The plan requires annual progress reports to help ensure accountability in the process, update the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and would officially mandate a focus on small-scale and women farmers, and nutrition in development programs.

“CWS is committed to raising the voice of the faithful in the fight against hunger and malnutrition,” said McCullough. “We will urge our grassroots advocacy network to speak out to their Members of Congress about how important this bipartisan legislation could be for our hungry brothers and sisters across the globe.”