Impact Blog Team
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We sat down to chat with Feed the Future’s deputy coordinator for development, Tjada McKenna, about Feed the Future, its latest results, and where we’re at in the fight to end hunger.
Improving nutrition is one of the best investments we can make in development. For the past year, humanitarian, development and health experts from across USAID worked to craft a new approach to nutrition, aimed at increasing food security, reducing malnutrition and building resilience among vulnerable populations like those in the Sahel.
Twenty years ago Tajikistan was in civil conflict and gripped by a food crisis. Today, says USAID’s Regional Mission Director for the Central Asia Republics Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, the panorama is vastly different and more hopeful from what he once witnessed. Feed the Future is an important part of that transformation.
When President Obama took office, the world was mired in the midst of food, fuel, and financial turmoil that pushed millions of people back to the precipice of poverty. In 2007 and 2008, food prices hit all-time highs, sending prices for basic staples like rice and wheat beyond the reach of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Liberia has made great advancements since the end of its devastating war a decade ago. But Liberians continue to face a daunting challenge – all too often, when the “rubber meets the road,” there is quite literally no road to travel. USAID is helping solve that, bridging people, goods and helping Liberia make real strides against extreme poverty.
Violence and insecurity in South Sudan have forced more than 1 million people from their homes since mid-December. More than 380,000 children been forced to uproot, when they should be playing in the safety of their communities. While fleeing, some get separated from their families. Helping some of these devastated families reunite may be one of the few bright spots in the midst of this horrible conflict.
Media independence has been tied to social stability, improved governance and reduced corruption, better health outcomes, faster economic growth and fewer famines. USAID’s support of open media environments in 31 countries around the world is having real impact on the lives of real people.
The crisis in Syria presents humanitarian, developmental and demographic challenges particularly for women and children, who have been exposed to serious risks while fleeing their homes, in camps, and in unfamiliar countries’ cities and towns. Two USAID leaders recently visited Jordan and Turkey and returned with stories of great adversity and but also of hope.
We might not fully agree, but it has a key insight. All of us- including people living in poverty- have complicated, demanding lives. So simple availability doesn’t mean that even life-changing services like vaccines and HIV tests stay at the top of our minds.
Imagine a world in which diagnostics for diseases that are prevalent in developing countries are available at pennies per use, renewable off-grid energy services are affordable for households earning less than $2/day, and every family has enough healthy food to eat. USAID is helping to turn these ideas into realities by launching the U.S. Global Development Lab.