This originally appeared on the White House Blog.
Yesterday I was honored to witness an exhilarating moment in the progress of the President’s Feed the Future initiative. In a truly collaborative event hosted by the White House, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development over 30 religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations from across the country gathered for a consultation to share their experience and knowledge in food and agriculture programs. Administrator Shah articulated his vision for the critical importance of partnerships with faith-based and other nonprofit organizations that will help make Feed the Future a success. The Administrator used the White House platform to announce four fantastic opportunities for USAID partnership with NGOs:
- A $10 million Innovation Grant for Economic Resilience and Risk Reduction was launched that will incentivize the development of new methods and approaches to accelerating the impacts of economic growth on the most vulnerable. Applications will be accepted initially from those working in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Bangladesh.
- In line with Procurement Reform, Dr. Shah committed USAID to provide opportunities for NGOs to compete for grants or cooperative agreements in each of the 20 Feed the Future potential focus countries. We will not be successful in accelerating impacts for the most vulnerable if we rely exclusively on contract instruments.
- We will ask our missions in all 20 Feed the Future potential focus countries to host consultations with NGOs. We will begin with 3 countries critical to the success of Feed the Future. Ghana, Tanzania and Bangladesh will host consultations within the next two months.
- Continue to develop our Africa Leadership Training and Capacity Building Program. We are currently working in 14 African countries to: train Africans to lead their own institutions; assess training needs; develop a database of training providers; and provide organizational support to trainings. NGOs are invited to connect with the leadership team implementing this program to contribute to its success.
Administrator Shah is enthusiastic about the opportunities enabled by these commitments and the potential benefit for the world’s hungry people. We know that it is only through the collaboration of all sectors that we can succeed in our global commitment to food security for the least of these.
Stay up-to-date on these and other exciting announcements at the Feed the Future website: www.feedthefuture.gov.
Other speakers at the event included Joshua Dubois, Executive Director and Mara Vanderslice, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Max Finberg, Director of the USDA Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture and Ann Tutwiler, incoming Deputy Director General, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
If you would like to comment about this posting or to receive more information, email fbci (at) usaid.gov.
Ari Alexander is Deputy Director at the Center for Faith-based & Community Initiatives and the Coordinator of Global Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development.